Academic Units

Departments & Institutes

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 are the pioneers, the explorers, the doers. We ask, “What if?” Come join the curious.

Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences

The science surrounding us

Climate change is perhaps the greatest threat facing the planet and humanity today. Ranked #1 in the country by the National Research Council, the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS) is at the forefront of this cause. We have been a leader in atmospheric research and education since 1940, when it was under the leadership of the late professor Jacob Bjerknes, originator of the polar-front theory of cyclones. Our department taps some of the best and brightest minds in the world as it teaches interdisciplinary approaches to innovation in four major areas — climate and weather, chemistry and radiation, oceanography, and space physics.

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Working to solve health and environmental challenges

Chemistry is fundamental to understanding our world and plays a central and unique role in unifying a wide variety of disciplines. The UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Department has a tradition of excellence. From Synthesizing natural products and nano-materials required to solve health and environmental crises, to illuminating molecular mechanisms that regulate decoding of genetic information. We are a leader in innovative educational programs and cutting-edge research and are ranked among the best in the country for the caliber of our faculty and the excellence of our students.

Earth, Planetary, & Space Sciences

We study the Earth, the Solar System, and beyond

The Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (EPSS) at UCLA seeks to understand how planets like ours form and evolve, how life on our planet developed, and whether life exists elsewhere. Students, faculty, and researchers within EPSS study the physical and chemical conditions that prevailed 4.6 billion years ago when the planets formed, the processes that shape planetary bodies, and interactions with the space environment. Using data from the lab, field, spacecraft, and telescopes, EPSS studies a wide range of important questions about the Earth, the Solar System, and beyond. The department also characterizes natural hazards to better protect humanity from earthquakes, tsunamis, space weather, and asteroid impacts.

Environmental Science

Moving Science to Action

One of UCLA’s Grand Challenges is to achieve a sustainable Los Angeles. At the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability IoES), students and faculty engage is research that breaks down barriers between traditional areas of study. From its bachelor’s degree to its PhD and doctorate, IoES academic programs share a common ethos: to use Los Angeles as a testbed for global solutions and achieve real-world results in the process.


Quantifying the world

UCLA’s renowned Mathematics Department (ranked 6th in the world) explores the frontiers of pure and applied mathematical research. Pure mathematics provides us the foundation and key ideas for the application of mathematics in real-world issues. Through applied math, our faculty is discovering innovative solutions to some of today’s most pressing issues. From detecting and predicting crime hot spots to virtual surgery using computational geometry, we are working to shape the world of tomorrow.

Physics & Astronomy

A leader in high-end scientific computing

UCLA Physics and Astronomy is a historic leader in high-end scientific computing. Our researchers design, build, and use cutting-edge instruments that lead to new scientific discoveries. In astronomy, we are pioneers in extra-solar system planets, galactic astronomy, and cosmology. Our faculty were central to the development of the X-ray free-electron laser and were among the first users of this revolutionary imaging tool. Our research spans well-established disciplines of “big science” and frontier plasma science. as well as emerging fields such as the physics of hearing and neuroscience. Researchers in our department have access to impactful spaces and tools, such as the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii and a unique electron linear accelerator test facility housed right here at UCLA.

Statistics and Data Science

A leader in statistics and data science

The UCLA Department of Statistics and Data Science is a growing field that is playing a remarkably important role in the world today. Statistical thinking in research and an understanding of data science is now vital to many industries that directly impact people’s lives, including engineering, health, business, public policy, and more. Our research on statistical learning, computer vision, computational biology, social sciences, and environmetrics is helping to meet this increased demand from industry. We have become a leader in the development of statistical methodology that exploits the increasing power of computers and our graduates are well-prepared to address a variety of new challenges our society faces.