UC Riverside Graduate Physics Program

Kenneth Barish
Associate Professor of Physics
Graduate Student Advisor


The Department has an very active research program with 30 faculty, including the Chancellor, and 72 graduate students. We have strong programs in high-energy physics (7 experimentalists, 3 theorists), heavy-ion nuclear physics (2 experimentalists), nanoscale condensed matter physics and biophysics (9 experimentalists, 5 theorists), and space physics, astrophysics, and astronomy (4 faculty, including the Chancellor).We use facilities located on the campus at UCR and at national laboratories and facilities located around the world.

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. This past year, all of our 24 incoming grad students were fully supported through fellowship and TA packages.

The city of Riverside (population 250,000) 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

Currently we have 72 graduate students in our program. Our graduate curriculum has recently been revised and expanded with the addition of several new elective courses in our existing tracks (Nuclear and Particle Physics, Condensed Matter, Surface, and Optical Physics, Astrophysics, and Environmental Physics), and the addition of two new tracks (Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics and  Material and Nanoscale Physics).

With the UCR undergraduate enrollment expected to grow from its current 17,000 to 25,000 over the next 10 years, we expect to grow by a further 60%. Our faculty has agreed that our long range goals include expansion in the areas of Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Biophysics. This will also allow us to increase dramatically the number of graduate students. We have already begun ramping up the number of graduate students admitted each year. The number has risen from less than 10 in 2001-2002 to 24 in 2005-2006.  Our goal is ultimately to have a total of 150 graduate students in our program.

Look through our WebPages and feel free to contact me with any questions about our department or application procedure.


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