Due to its fundamental and applied importance, physics is an integral part of any general science program. The physics program at UC Merced educates students in the basic physical properties of the natural world and how these properties are manifest in a wide array of scientific phenomena. Physics students learn how to reduce complex problems to essential core issues. The physics program also emphasizes quantitative and analytical reasoning.
Undergraduate Major
The physics undergraduate core is a rigorous grounding in the fundamentals of physics, such as electricity and magnetism, quantum and classical mechanics, and thermodynamics. The specialization allows students to follow one of four tracks of interest: atomic/molecular/optical (AMO) physics, mathematical physics, biophysics and earth/environmental physics. Through its track structure, the physics undergraduate degree complements and enhances other campus undergraduate programs, most notably mathematical sciences, biological sciences, earth systems science, and potentially environmental engineering and bioengineering as well. Depending on the track, students may be required to take upper division courses outside of physics.
Graduate Program
The mission of the Physics graduate program at UC Merced is to train our next generation of scientific leaders. Our graduates will be well prepared to conduct and communicate independent research at the knowledge frontier, advancing fundamental understanding of the world around us and using physics to solve important problems in society.

Contact Us

Physics Graduate Group Chair

Linda Hirst, Professor

Physics Undergraduate Lead
Jay Sharping, Associate Professor
Physics Bylaw Unit Chair
Kevin Mitchell, Professor
Physics Mailing Address
University of California, Merced
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343


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University of California, Merced
The first new American research
university in the 21st century, with a
mission of research, teaching and service.
University of California, Merced
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
T: (209) 228-4400
University of California


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