Undergraduate Majors Physics Home

Physics Major

Physics is the study of matter, energy, and the fundamental interactions of nature.

What makes Physics unique at UCR?


Physics is the only major in the college that ensures you are on track by providing quarterly meetings with your physics faculty advisor. This professor will get to know you in one-on-one meetings and help you develop your plan for the future.

In general, what are Physics professors investigating?

  • How did the Universe evolve after the Big Bang?
  • What is Dark Matter?
  • How does the spin of the proton emerge from its constituents?
  • What was the hot plasma of the Universe like just after the Big Bang before protons, neutrons, and atoms formed?
  • What is the role of quantum physics in photosynthesis?
  • What are the emergent properties of novel, nanoscale two-dimensional materials?
  • Are the constants of nature really constant?
  • Can we control quantum systems at the level necessary to build a quantum computer?
  • What can we learn from understanding the physics behind virus self-assembly?

Why Physics at UCR?


We have an introductory physics series (41ABC) just for physics majors. It is a full-immersion experience, where you will get to know other physics majors and your instructors in a small class. As a physics major, you will meet with your physics faculty advisor every quarter to help you develop plans for your future and take advantage of opportunities aligned with your interests and goals. The student-to-faculty ratio at UCR is one of the best in the UC system, giving you a huge advantage in access to research experience.

Did you know?

More than 80% of the mass in the universe is a mysterious substance called Dark Matter. We don't yet know what it is, but we are working hard to figure it out!

Physics research at UCR

We are leading research in many areas including:

  • Understanding the nature of Dark Matter from new astrophysical observations, theoretical models, and experimental searches
  • Probing the universe and gravity with Gravitational Wave detection experiments
  • Studying the emergent properties of novel materials, many of which have applications in Quantum Information Science
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) physics
  • Nuclear physics experiments studying the strong interaction
  • The physics of biological systems


What industries can I get into with a Physics degree?

  • Many UCR physics majors go on to graduate school in physics or engineering and earn a masters (MS) or doctorate degree (PhD)
  • Aerospace
  • Data Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Technician
  • Medical Physics
  • Teaching

What can I do with a Physics degree?

Undergraduate Majors Physics - Underground with hard hats

Graduates with a Physics degree from UCR have obtained positions in a variety of companies like Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, SETI Institute, Boeing, Intel, City of Hope and more, as well as teaching. Additionally many move on to graduate school.

What you should know

What do you want to get out of your education besides university-level classes and a diploma? If it includes research experience with world-class scientists, UCR is an excellent choice, offering a combination of access, opportunity, mentoring, and support that is difficult to match elsewhere.

Undergraduate Majors Physics Advice for Success

Advice for success

It’s never too early to begin planning for your future! The PHYS 39 class and your physics faculty advisor will help you find an area of research and develop a plan for what comes next after you graduate.

Undergraduate Majors Physics Vac Assembly

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We are an inclusive community where all are welcome.

Available Minor in Physics

Physics Minor

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