A message from the Chair of the Department of Physics, Professor Usha Sinha

Hello, and thank you for visiting the SDSU Physics Web site.

The Physics Department at San Diego State University is committed to offering every undergraduate and graduate student the fullest opportunity to realize his or her potential as a physicist. The department has a history of teaching excellence and a commitment to continuing this tradition. Although SDSU is a very large institution (over 30,000 students), class sizes in the Physics Department are small. The personal attention offered to each student is similar to that which exists at considerably smaller institutions. We take a personal stake in the success of each and every student. Faculty members are always very accessible to undergraduate and graduate students alike.

Physics is considered the center of modern science, and it has long fascinated the finest minds of every age. It is a very broad and diverse field, and this diversity is reflected in the Physics Department at San Diego State University. Faculty members are carrying out research covering the very fundamental as well as the very applied. Both undergraduate and graduate students are actively involved in all of the research programs carried out by the faculty. At SDSU, students do not just hear about physics, they do physics.

All undergraduate physics majors write a senior thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. Often these senior theses result in research publications for the students. Upper division courses, along with the senior thesis, provide students with an undergraduate education that is not available at most universities. In particular, undergraduate students enjoy the opportunity of conducting research with faculty members in a one-to-one situation. The rationale behind this requirement is that structured courses do not always reflect the difficulties commonly faced in advanced research. Since our students have carried out original and individual research projects, they are poised to assume positions of responsibility relatively quickly, after their graduation.

The Master’s degree program is a rigorous curriculum requiring both course work and a thesis (M.S. only). Typically, M.S. theses result in scientific publications for the students. The broad range of professional interests of our faculty affords our students a the opportunity of choosing among a wide range of thesis topics, many of which in applied phyics. A M.S. degree in Physics from SDSU is a highly respected degree, not just a “consolation prize” as is often the case at other institutions. Like our bachelors students, our Master’s degree graduates are highly regarded by both industry and academia.

In summary, whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate student, the SDSU Physics Department offers programs that focus on you, the student, and whose highest priority is your learning experience.