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.


*Please note this is a specially scheduled seminar that will take place in SLH 102 on Thursday, February 4th from 4:00-5:00 pm* 

Bottom-up approaches for quantum many-body physics with cold trapped atoms

Crystal Senko, PhD 
Department of Physics 
Harvard University


Monday, February 8, 2016

Designing Defect Spins for Wafer Scale Quantum Technologies

William Koehl, PhD 
Institute for Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago 
Materials Science Division, Argonne National Lab

4:15 pm in SLH 102 

(refreshments will be served at 4:00 pm)

*Please visit our Colloquia tab to learn more about upcoming talks!

Betterment of Mankind Award to Vitaly Kresin

Congratulations to Physics and Astronomy Professor, Vitaly Kresin who recently received The Pauchon Research Foundation's Betterment of Mankind Award. Dr. Kresin's work on nanoparticles can be of important use in future light absorption technology. 



Moh El-Naggar installed as Endowed Chair

The Dept. of Physics and Astronomy offer our heartfelt congratulations to  assistant professor of physics, biological sciences and chemistry Moh El-Nagger , who was installed as the inaugural holder of the Robert D. Beyer (’81) Early Career Chair in Natural Sciences at a Nov. 10 ceremony. From left: USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay; Robert Beyer; Catherine Beyer (wife of Robert Beyer); Elizabeth Cochran (wife of Moh El-Naggar); Moh El-Naggar; Provost Michael Quick. Photo by Steve Cohn.

Please visit the following link to read the full article:


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