Department of Physics & Astronomy

In the Department of Physics and Astronomy at SF State, we make teaching and research happen! Students planning to work in industry, enter teaching professions, or pursue graduate study can expect an outstanding education in physics and astronomy and exposure to cutting-edge research through our BA/BS and MS programs.

In order to protect the health of students, faculty, and staff from the spread of CoVID-19, the main office of the Department of Physics & Astronomy will remain closed until further notice. All graduation forms, petitions, waivers, and other forms can be emailed to Department Chair Prof. Joseph Barranco.

All instruction will continue in online formats through July 2021. Instructors will communicate with their students on the details of their online teaching plans.

Prerequisites for PHYS 111 & 220: Readiness for PHYS 111 and 220.

Contact list for lab instructors for ASTR 116, PHYS 102, 112, 122, 222, 232, 242 for Spring 2021: Lab_Instructors_2021_Spring

Look at who is hiring graduates with physics degrees in California!

Faculty-led research includes:


  • Theoretical Particle Physics & Lattice Gauge Theory
  • Quantum Field Theory & String Theory
  • Optics & Photonics
  • Materials Physics & Nanophysics
  • Cryogenic Electronics & Superconducting Devices
  • Biophysical Imaging
  • Physics Education


  • Astrophysical & Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
  • Plasma Physics & Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Exoplanetary Science & Astrobiology
  • Binary Stars & Globular Clusters
  • Galaxy Formation & Evolution
  • Galactic Archaeology & Near-field Cosmology
  • Astronomy Education

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