We are a tightly knit and friendly department where faculty, staff, and students know each other well and enjoy interacting and socializing in and out of the classroom and lab. We take pride in mentoring our students toward career paths in the courses we teach and with their involvement in our own research efforts. We offer several Awards and Scholarships each year derived from the longtime generosity of our friends of the department. 

We have almost 100 majors and over 20 masters students and we graduate about 10 students each year mostly into careers in industry and secondary education as well as into PhD programs. Physics teaches a wide range of scientific skills and technologies while developing solid critical-thinking tools that bridge a variety of industries, including engineering, electronics, communication, defense, and life sciences. Some 20% of our majors graduate with a minor or double major in math or another science. When graduation nears, faculty work hard helping our students develop resumes and statements of purpose and writing personalized letters of recommendation.

Award Presentation to Josh Smith

Department research interests include observational astronomy (Cheng) and gravitational-wave astronomy, including neutron-star astrophysics (Read), and black-hole simulation (Lovelace), and LIGO detection (Smith), surface and condensed-matter science, theory (Tifrea), atomic and molecular collision science, experiment (Khakoo, Childers, Hargreaves) and theory (Feagin), soft-matter and biophysics, (Ahmed), fiber- and quantum-optical science, experiment and theory (Wanser, Fearn), string theory and general relativity (Fearn, Woodward), and physics education research (LoverudePassante). These activities generate a good deal of ongoing federal grant funding to support student involvement in the research.

The department has a Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center GWPAC with a mission to support and grow gravitational-wave research on campus. GWPAC director Josh Smith collaborates with center members Jocelyn Read and Geoffrey Lovelace and their students and several at-large members. Mike Loverude and Gina Passante are the department's Physics Education Research experts and Mike continues as co-director of the CSUF Catalyst Center for Advancement of Research in Teaching and Learning.

Physics demonstrations

Department life revolves around our ‘grad room’ which offers office space and computer resources for our TAs and majors as well as a well-stocked kitchen maintained by the Physics Club. We continue to invest in and develop our advanced teaching-lab facility in Dan Black Hall featuring ultramodern instrumentation (teachspin.com), funded largely through the generous commitment of Dan Black.

Leigh Hargreaves is our bachelor program coordinator, and Jim Feagin and Ionel Tifrea our masters program coordinators. Veronica Traub in the front office helps track the progress of our majors and is happy to lend a sympathetic ear. Giasmine Pesantes coordinates administrative tasks across the department.

We offer a unique and personable department with solid educational opportunities for careers in physics. Please have a look around our web pages, and let us know if you’d like to tour the department personally. We would love to hear from you!

Ionel Tifrea, ChairIonel Tifrea, Acting Chair since August 2017
(657) 278-4827 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




The department office is located on the 6th floor of McCarthy Hall, room 611 (on the map at the south end of campus). For parking information and permits, call the department office and view the campus parking website.

Department Shipping Address
Department of Physics
800 North State College Blvd
California State University Fullerton
Fullerton CA 92834-6866