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Physics and Astronomy

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

CSULB Ocean Studies program on a boat

Department Chair: Patrick Kenealy

Department Office: Peterson Hall (PH) 1-210
Telephone/FAX: (562) 985-4924/(562) 985-7924

Faculty: M. Zahur Anwar, Andreas Bill, Thomas Gredig, Jiyeong Gu, Paul Hintzen, Zvonimir Hlousek, Chi-Yu Hu, Patrick F. Kenealy, Chuhee Kwon, Alfred F. Leung, Zoltan Papp, Galen T. Pickett, Subhash Rajpoot


  • Undergraduate: Galen T. Pickett
  • Credential: James Kisiel, Dave Nichols
  • Graduate: Chuhee Kwon

Administrative Support Coordinator: Irene Howard

Students desiring information should contact the Department Office for referral to one of the faculty advisors.

Career Possibilities

Physicist • Computer Scientist • Electro-Optical Engineer • Computer Engineer • Meteorologist • Metallurgist • Industrial Health Engineer • Aerospace Engineer • Geophysicist • Financial Analyst • Technical Writer • Astronomer • Teacher • Oceanographer • Systems Analyst • Mathematician • Materials Researcher • Quality Control Specialist • Food and Drug Inspector • Scientific Apparatus Salesperson • Nuclear Engineer • Physicist Technician (Some of these, and other careers, require additional education or experience. For more information, see and Various entry-level trainee positions in business and industry are available for graduates regardless of academic discipline.


The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree; descriptions of these programs and the requirements for their completion are given below.

Degree Programs

Each bachelor's degree offered by the Department is based on a strong, basic program. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree is designed for students interested in immediate employment in industry as well as those who wish to continue on to a Master's or Ph.D. degree in physics or a related field. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree is appropriate for those preparing for teaching careers in the physical sciences at the secondary level as well as those whose goal is a liberal education with an emphasis on physics. The curriculum for these baccalaureate degrees provides a broadly-based exposure to theoretical and experimental physics. It also permits students to discuss fundamental concepts and their applications to grasp the discoveries at science's expanding frontiers, and to develop an appreciation for the amazing beauty of the physical universe.

The Department also offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) degree. The M.S. degree is available in both a general option and an option in applied physics. A student may choose the general plan either with a thesis or, if the department graduate committee gives permission, with a comprehensive examination; the computational plan requires a thesis; and the option in applied physics requires a thesis. Active areas of research are: materials sciences, condensed matter physics (superconductivity, magnetism, polymer physics), computational physics, quantum few-body scattering theory, theory of low-energy atomic collisions, field theory, gauge/gravitational interactions, phenomenology of elementary particles, biophysics, and applied optics. A limited number of teaching associateships and graduate assistantships are available to students working on the master's degree. Work as a teaching associate (TA) is a valuable part of any degree program. Application should be made to the graduate advisor of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Concurrent and/or Summer Enrollment at Another College

Students who wish to take course work at a community college or another college or university to meet curricular requirements while enrolled as undergraduates in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics must petition the appropriate Department for prior approval to earn credit for specific courses. This policy applies to concurrent enrollment or summer enrollment. Please see “Concurrent Enrollment” and “Transfer of Undergraduate Credit” in this Catalog. Courses not receiving prior approval will not be accepted for credit by the Department.

Facilitated Enrollment into Classes

All entering students who declare a major in a degree program offered by this Department should participate in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ Science Safari to Success (for first-time freshmen) or EONS (Enrollment and Orientation in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics for transfer students) Program. These programs are held in June-July for those starting in the Fall Semester and in January for those starting in the Spring Semester. Department advisors will be available to provide an overview of the students’ chosen baccalaureate degree program, to assist with academic advisement, to provide information on the many career opportunities available, and to aid students in enrolling in classes. Contact the Jensen Student Access to Sciences and Mathematics Center (FO5-109) or Department Office for additional information.