May 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics and Astronomy

Department Chair: Prashanth Jaikumar
Department Office: Hall of Science (HSCI) 220
Telephone / FAX: (562) 985.7925 / (562) 985-7924
Website: Physics and Astronomy Department

Faculty: Andreas Bill, Thomas Gredig, Sarah Grefe, Jiyeong Gu, Prashanth Jaikumar, Thomas Klähn, Alex Klotz, Claudia Ojeda-Aristizabal, Zoltan Papp, Michael Peterson, Galen T. Pickett, Subhash Rajpoot, Joel Zinn

Undergraduate: Thomas Gredig
Credential: Kristin Straits
Graduate: Jiyeong Gu

Administrative Support Coordinator: Joey Grant

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

College: College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics  

Courses: ASTR, PHYS, PHSC  

Career Possibilities

Physicist • Teacher • Medical Physicist • Materials Scientist• Astrophysicist • Computer Scientist • Data Scientist• Photonics• Biophysicist• Electro-Optical Engineer • Computer Engineer • Meteorologist • Metallurgist • Industrial Health Engineer • Aerospace Engineer • Geophysicist • Financial Analyst • Technical Writer • Astronomer • Oceanographer • Systems Analyst • Mathematician • 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.

Degree Programs

The Bachelor of Science degree is designed for students interested in immediate employment in industry or wishing to continue on to a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in physics or a related field. The Bachelor of Arts degree is appropriate for those preparing for teaching careers in the physical sciences at the secondary level, those whose goal is a liberal art education with an emphasis on physics, or engineers interested in a double major.

The Department also offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science degree and the Master of Science in Professional Physics. The Master of Science degree is available in a general option, an option in applied physics, and computational physics. A limited number of teaching associateships and graduate assistantships are available to students working on the master’s degree. Application should be made to the Chair of the Department.

Academic Advising and Facilitated Enrollment into Classes

All entering students who declare a major in a degree program offered by this department need to contact the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ (CNSM) Academic Advising Center (HSCI 164) and participate in SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration). These programs are held in 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 CNSM Academic Advising Center, Jensen Student Access to Sciences and Mathematics Center (HSCI 164), or department office for additional information. Incoming students are strongly encouraged to visit the department office around or before the first week of classes.

All entering graduate students need to contact the graduate advisor of the department. An orientation for graduate students is held during the week prior to start of classes.

Concurrent and/or Summer Enrollment at Another College

Students who wish to take coursework 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.

Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) Program  

The CSULB PhysTEC Program, supported by the American Physical Society, National Science Foundation, and the CSULB’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, is a collaborative project between the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Science Education, and the Teacher-in-Residence program recruited from local high schools. The PhysTEC Program aims to increase the number of physics majors earning teaching credentials at CSULB by actively recruiting, providing opportunities for early teaching experiences, and continuing the support structures for teachers at all levels. For additional information, please see  


    Graduate and Professional DegreesUndergraduate DegreesMinor


      AstronomyPhysical SciencePhysics