Physics at UC Merced
Physics at UC Merced leverages our unique academic atmosphere that fosters interdisciplinary research - connecting the physical sciences to life sciences, material sciences and engineering. We focus on three main areas of research — biological and soft matter physics, condensed matter and materials physics, and atomic, molecular and optical physics — that synergize with each other, allowing for collaborations that approach problems from distinct perspectives. Our graduate and undergraduate students pursue their degrees while working on a broad range of cutting-edge research topics in one of the most diverse departments in the country.
Our young, diverse group of faculty is enthusiastic, driven and invested in student success. Our team is large enough to offer rigorous and comprehensive training but small enough that students receive a lot of personal attention.
UC Merced's academic structure and physical proximity make collaborative opportunities with other research groups the rule rather than the exception.
Welcome to Physics at UC Merced
Access to World Class Resources
As the 10th campus of the University of California, UC Merced draws on the outstanding resources of the UC system, a world renowned center for research and education. The research groups in this graduate group have access to major facilities, such as state of the art laser systems, an electron microscopy facility, a nanofabrication facility and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy on campus. Other large facilities, such as synchrotron light sources, located at Stanford University and UC Berkeley labs, are within two hours of driving distances. Students also have access to the extensive library holdings and journal subscriptions of the UC system.
The second-largest program within the School of Natural Sciences, our graduate group celebrates diversity. Five of the 12 professors are women and 43 percent of our students are either underrepresented minorities or women, which makes our group among the most diverse in the country.
Research focused undergraduate education
Undergraduate students at UC Merced have a rare opportunity to take part in scientific research with world-renowned research groups in cutting-edge fields such as atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics, soft matter and biophysics, solar energy sciences, nanoscience, or materials science. During the senior year all students work closely with a faculty advisor to design and carry out a research project, with many starting their research work in earlier years.