Hector C. Mireles, Chair
Matthew S. Povich
Peter B. Siegel
Kurt G. Vandervoort
Medical-breakthrough laser treatments, extrasolar planets and severe climate changes make front-page news every day. Understanding these complex problems with scientific reasoning and problem solving skills are needed in today's job market.
Cal Poly Pomona's Physics and Astronomy department explores the fundamental properties of matter and energy, and teaches concepts to understand and appreciate any observed phenomenon. Our curriculum explores the interactions of matter and energy at the deepest levels, from the subatomic to the cosmic.
Our majors learn principles of physics through a curriculum that builds strong quantitative and analytical skills and offers many opportunities for undergraduate research. Students may explore interdisciplinary areas such as biophysics, astrophysics, optics, computational physics and materials science. Physics majors enjoy relatively small upper division classes spanning experimental and theoretical aspects of classical and modern physics. Students engage in cutting-edge research, working closely with faculty in such fields as biophysics, optics, plasma physics, physics education research, astrophysics, and condensed matter physics.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy prepares students for a variety of career paths, including graduate programs in physics, astronomy, engineering and related fields; teacher certification; and research jobs in industry, government, and at national laboratories.
According to the American Institute of Physics (AIP), our department is ranked in the top 1% nationally for number of B.S. degrees in physics, and we are ranked third nationally for number of physics graduates from underrepresented minority groups.
Physics majors who demonstrate a high level of academic achievement have the opportunity to join the honorary society, Sigma Pi Sigma. Additional information concerning membership can be obtained from the Physics and Astronomy Department.
For those planning a career as a secondary science teacher (either middle school or high school), a Single Subject Credential in science is required. Before entering into a single subject credential program, students must demonstrate subject matter competency by either passing the appropriate state-approved examination (CSET) or completing a state-approved subject matter preparation program in Physics. Prospective teachers are encouraged to contact the Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (CEMaST) early in their academic programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-869-4063.
The quarters in which particular courses are offered are indicated by the F, W, Sp, Su notations. If a course is not given each year, an indication of its offering in odd or even years is given.