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About the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences

The Division of Physical Sciences encompasses 6 departments: Physics & Astronomy, Earth & Space Sciences, Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, Mathematics, Statistics, and Chemistry & Biochemistry. In addition, the Division includes  the Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics, the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and numerous affiliate institutes and research centers.

The distinguished research of Physical Sciences faculty has led to national and international recognition, including four Nobel prizes, seven National Medals of Science, and twenty-six members of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Division has over 200 faculty members and matriculates on average over 700 undergraduates and 150 graduate students per year. Its departments offer undergraduate, masters and doctoral degree programs, with a commitment to both undergraduate education and a strong graduate program anchored firmly in the research enterprise.

UCLA's Division of Physical Sciences is dedicated to:

  • Exploring the frontiers of human knowledge.
  • Addressing the most pressing needs of our world.
  • Educating the citizens who will contribute to the economic, social and intellectual vitality of our society.

Our research ranges from the study of the smallest of all known objects (subatomic particles) to the largest structures observed (galaxies and galactic clusters). Our stellar faculty study the molecular building blocks of living organisms, probe the earth's core, track the ocean's tides and temperatures, and investigate the processes that control both weather and climate. They map the human brain, develop cutting-edge technology for microscopy and image reconstruction, and explore the frontiers of pure and applied mathematics. Their scientific and mathematical discoveries continue to have a global and wide-reaching impact on all of us. Our faculty members are not only leading researchers, but also exceptional teachers. We pride ourselves in providing wide access to an unsurpassed scientific education, and our graduates go on to pursue fulfilling careers in many fields.


UCLA's Applied Math group is ranked #2 by US News and World Report.

The Division of Physical Sciences has produced   5 out of the 6  Nobel Laureates at UCLA.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was ranked  #8internationally by QS World Ranking and third in the world in terms of citations per faculty.

The Division of Physical Sciences has 26 members in the National Academy of Sciences – more than any other division at UCLA.

UCLA's Physics & Astronomy building is one of the few university buildings designed by the same lab engineer who developed the National Institute of Standards and Technology lab in Maryland and boasts equal vibration standards as NIST.

The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences tied with Colorado State University for the #1 ranking by the National Research Council (NRC).

The Department of Earth & Space Sciences has the #1 meteorite collection in the State of California, the 2nd largest university collection, and the 5th largest overall collection in the U.S.

The Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) is 1 of 7NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes in the U.S.

The Statistical Consulting Center within the Department of Statistics is one of the only centers to provide free statistical consulting and data analysis services to the Campus and the Community.

After only three years in existence, 58 students graduated with a degree in Environmental Science. The Institute of the Environment also graduated 44 minors and 24 students from the Leaders in Sustainability Graduate Program.