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The Department of Physics is preparing students for a broad range of 21st century careers in physics, applied physics, astronomy, finance, management, medicine and a variety of related fields. Through the study of physics, we teach a quantitative approach to problem solving that is just as relevant to financial analysis or bio-engineering as it is a research career in physics. We aim to promote scientific literacy among the general public directly through our classes for non-majors and indirectly by encouraging majors to consider careers in education.


  • The National Research Council (NRC) ranks UC Santa Barbara among the top 10 doctoral programs in physics nationally.
  • At the undergraduate level, the Department offers a Physics/CCS joint program with the College of Creative Studies, where students with exceptional preparation and talent further their passion for science in small classes with other highly motivated students.


We provide a supportive environment for completing the core coursework. Students receive academic and career advice from the Undergrate and Graduate Advisor,  dedicated faculty advisors, the Women in Physics group,  and an active chapter of the National Society of Physics Students. After completing core coursework, students  collaborate with faculty on cutting-edge research.  Some of these research opportunities come with financial support, and there are also a number of competitive scholarship options. Students and faculty participate jointly in community outreach activities like the Physics Circus.

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