Welcome to the UCLA Physical Sciences website.
Here you will discover one of the most diverse, productive and creative group of scientists who are asking the most interesting questions about the great mysteries of our time. We look for answers to satisfy human curiosity that range from pure and applied mathematics, to the knowledge that helps improve the quality of our lives and gives an edge to our economy.
We investigate the subatomic particles that constitute all of the matter we now know about. And we are searching for the mysterious and so far invisible dark matter that constitutes most of the observed universe.
We study the chemistry behind the use of solar energy and the processes needed to make our industries greener and sustainable. We use biochemistry and molecular biology to understand the processes that make life functions possible, which helps us develop the medicines needed to prevent and treat diseases.
We explore the Earth, from its core to its surface; we make discoveries about its history, with implications for the future of our planet. We peer out into our universe and thereby gaze into its deep past, and we look into the center of our own galaxy, at the remarkable objects that reside there.
Our work has implications for all the disciplines, from the arts to the study of society to medicine and agriculture.
I hope you will take some time to explore the physical sciences at UCLA and discover for yourself what makes our departments some of the highest-ranked in the world.
Dean of Physical Sciences
The Division of Physical Sciences encompasses six departments:
- Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
- Chemistry & Biochemistry
- Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
- Physics & Astronomy
The distinguished research of Physical Sciences faculty has led to national and international recognition, including Nobel prizes, National Medals of Science, and membership in 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 research.
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, such as subatomic particles, to the largest structures observed, including 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.
The UCLA College
Physical Sciences is under the umbrella of the UCLA College – the academic heart of UCLA and home to more than 85 percent of the university’s 28,000 undergraduate students. Learn more about it in the short video below: