About

We are leaders in several subfields of physics & astronomy. Our research foci include the origin and structure of the universe, the microscopic and macroscopic description of condensed matter and biological systems, and the physics of the environment

The Department has a very active research program with 44 faculty and 132 graduate students. We have theoretical and experimental research programs in Astrophysics, Biophysics, Condensed Matter Physics, Cosmology, Fundamental Precision Measurements, High Energy Physics, Relativistic Heavy Ion and Nucleon Spin Physics, and Surface Physics. We use facilities located on the campus at UCR as well as at major national and international laboratories.

As UC Riverside has rapidly expanded, we have taken advantage of this opportunity to grow into an elite physics department while maintaining our supportive mentoring tradition. The graduate program is a top priority of the campus, allowing us to offer competitive financial support. All of our incoming graduate students are fully supported through fellowship and TA packages.

The city of Riverside (population ~325,000) is located 50 miles east of Los Angeles in Southern California. The San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains close by offer hiking and skiing. Several of the Southern California beach communities are only 50 miles to the west, and Palm Springs and the high desert (Joshua Tree National Park) are 60 miles to the east. The university campus occupies a spacious park-like, 1,200-acre site on the outskirts of Riverside, near the Box Springs Mountains. We are within 30 miles of many other tourist attractions such as Disneyland.

Program Requirements

Master's:
(1) Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 36 quarter units of approved physics courses taken for a letter grade after admission to graduate study; of these, at least 24 quarter units must be in the 200 series. (2) Either: (a) satisfactory completion of a thesis in a field of physics to be chosen in consultation with a faculty supervisor or (b) satisfactory performance on the comprehensive examination. See the general catalog for more details: https://registrar.ucr.edu/registering/catalog.

Doctorate:
(1) Coursework: Each course must be passed with a grade of “B-” or better. Each student must maintain an average of “B” or better for all courses. (2) Written comprehensive examination to be taken at the end of the student’s first year. In the event of a failure, a make-up examination is offered in the winter quarter of the second year. The examination covers mechanics, statistical and thermal physics, quantum mechanics, and electromagnetism. The comprehensive examination for students pursuing the astronomy specialization consists of an examination that covers mechanics, statistical and thermal physics, electromagnetism, and fundamental astrophysics. (3) Oral qualifying examination in the general area of the student’s proposed research. This examination is conducted by a doctoral committee charged with general supervision of the student’s research. (4) Dissertation containing a review of existing knowledge relevant to the area of the candidate’s research and the results of the candidate’s original research. This research must be of sufficiently high quality to constitute a contribution to knowledge in the subject area. (5) Final oral examination may be required. See the general catalog for more details: https://registrar.ucr.edu/registering/catalog.
GRE Requirements: Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required