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College of Arts & Sciences
Physics and Astronomy


About Us

Welcome to the Department

Welcome to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of South Carolina.  Our department was established in the mid-fifties, awarding its first MS degree in 1958 and first PhD degree in 1965.  Since then, we have grown into a strong and vibrant department with an internationally recognized faculty, vigorously pursuing world-class research.  Our ties to several national and international laboratories and physics-related industries, as well as our interdisciplinary efforts provide students with access to cutting-edge research in almost all areas of contemporary physics.

Our distinguished faculty includes several Fellows of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as two members of the National Academy of Sciences.  Recent junior faculty members have won awards such as the National Science Foundation's Career award.

Together, the faculty, the associated scientists, the postdoctoral fellows, and a dedicated support staff are working hard to advance the forefronts of knowledge in both pure and applied physics, providing an exciting intellectual climate for our students.  We strongly encourage you to look at our broad research portfolio whether you are a prospective student, a parent, alum, a researcher or faculty member at another institution, or are simply interested in physics.  Our weekly colloquia and specialized seminars create a vibrant, intellectual, and friendly environment for all to interact with distinguished visitors from other laboratories and institutions.

The department emphasizes both undergraduate and graduate research.  Our undergraduate students are encouraged to get involved in research as early as the freshman year.  All interested students can also help in education and K-12 public outreach through our chapter of the Society of Physics Students, our Midway Physics Day at the South Carolina State Fair, and regular visits to schools in the area.

We have an excellent record of launching our undergraduate and graduate degree recipients in rewarding jobs.  The majority of them have gone on to pursue successful careers in research, academia, and industry all over the world.

Prospective students and their families are welcome to tour the department and meet faculty members any time during the year.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Jeffrey Wilson, or our Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Richard Creswick, at any time if you have a question.