About the Department

Welcome to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University Long Beach!

We are a diverse, active, and fun department of the California State University System. Our program is designed to prepare students for all possible career paths may it be in industry, teaching or academia. The professional learning includes the fundamental understanding of the laws of nature and how they apply to present day and future technologies, or simply to everyday phenomena. The program also provides opportunities to apply the knowledge and learn to solve real world problems either in an experimental physics laboratory or using computational tools.

We - faculty, staff, and students - aim to promote the physical understanding of nature through dedicated research-based teaching, active learning, service, and innovative research at the highest level. We value the public support of teaching and research and, in return, share our insights and knowledge with the scientific community as well as for the benefit of the greater public. Our majors and graduate students collaborate with faculty in experimental and theoretical research and gain hands-on experience with the latest developments in the field, opportunities that prepare them for successful careers in industry and higher education. For students from other disciplines, the Department provides active-learning-based courses designed to foster their critical thinking skills and to educate them to become scientifically literate citizens. We strive for the highest standards of integrity, diversity and professionalism in education and research.

Undergraduate Program

To enable B.S. and B.A. students to succeed in their future endeavors in industry, graduate programs or teaching, we designed classes that train physics majors to achieve the following learning objectives:

  1. Have a firm grasp of the theories that form the basis of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, special relativity, and some knowledge of optics and/or nuclear and particle physics and/or condensed matter physics and/or astrophysics.
  2. Be able to apply the principles of physics and appropriate mathematical methods to usefully approach and solve some appropriate real world problems.
  3. Be familiar with experiments upon which a basic understanding of physics rests, and have a familiarity with the uses of computational tools in physics.
  4. Be familiar with basic laboratory equipment and basic symbolic software computational techniques.
  5. Be able to discuss, design, and carry out some simple experiments to answer basic questions or to demonstrate basic principles.
  6. Be able to keep comprehensive laboratory notebooks when appropriate.
  7. Be able to communicate results through written reports and oral presentations.
  8. Be able to speak to the role of science in our society, which requires a basic broader understanding of societal institutions, cultures, literacy, and the arts.

Graduate Program

To enable M.S. students to succeed in their future endeavors in industry, PhD programs or teaching, we designed classes that train students to achieve the following additional graduate learning objectives:

  1. Obtain a solid knowledge of graduate Physics,
  2. Gain proficiency in Mathematical techniques necessary for understanding graduate Physics,
  3. Obtain hands-on training in the use of advanced experimental and computational methods and techniques to solve problems.
  4. Gain aptitude to model complicated multifaceted problems and use methods to conceive a path to solve these problems.
  5. Gain maturity in solving a problem by gaining stamina, endurance and perseverance in a long research project that culminates in the writing of a MS thesis and its oral defense.