The Department of Physics and Astronomy in the University of Southern California's Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is a research and teaching department. Our faculty are leaders in their research disciplines and are among USC's most distinguished teachers.


Physics and Astronomy are both going through revolutionary times mirrored by the research programs in the department, which range from theory of High Energy Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Nanoscale Physics, and Solar Physics to Cosmology. Large Scale Computation is an important field with several state-of-the-art facilities available to students and faculty.


Emerging areas of research in our department include the rapidly developing fields of Quantum Information Science and Physical Biology. Physical Biology is where the quantitative skills of physicists address important problems coming from biological systems.


Our programs have proven to be an ideal preparation for a broad range of interdisciplinary areas for which a quantitative training is crucial: this includes not only traditional physics careers, but also engineering, business, and finance. Our department is currently introducing innovative courses in biological physics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Undergraduate Education

For undergraduate students, we offer majors in Physics, Astronomy, Biophysics, and a joint Physics/Computer Science program. We also offer minors in Physics and Astronomy.

Graduate Studies

For graduate students, we offer a Ph.D. in Physics. If you are a prospective graduate student, please take a look at the Ph.D. section for all the information on application to our Ph.D. program.

New Frontiers...

Physics Professor, Moh El-Naggar, has been named the inaugural holder of a newly endowed chair in the natural sciences. Beginning this September, Moh will be the Robert D. Beyer ('81) Early Career Chair in Natural Sciences, and Assistant Professor of Physics, Biological Sciences, and Chemistry. Congratulations, Moh!

Change of Guard

This Fall marks an important milestone for Physics and Astronomy. We warmly welcome Dr. Stephan Haas as our new department chair. Dr. Haas follows in the footsteps of Dr. Hans Bozler who served in this position for a successful three-year term.

Keep your eye on the Department of Physics and Astronomy...Great things are in store for us with Stephan at the helm!!

Visiting Students from Nankai University

Physics and Astronomy was very pleased to welcome three visiting undergraduate students from Nankai University in Tianjin, China. Qi Wu, Chengyu Yuan and Ruyue Zhang gained great research experience working with their faculty hosts, Vitaly Kresin, James Boedicker and Michelle Povinelli, and their respective labs. This 6-week summer program culminated with a fantastic poster session attended by our department's faculty and grad students. 

Giving Website

  • Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Southern California
  • 825 Bloom Walk
  • ACB 439
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0484