Dear Physics Student:
On behalf of faculty, students and staff, I would like to welcome you to the Department of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley.
Our Department has a long tradition of excellence. For over fifty years the department has been recognized as the home of one of the world's top physics programs. We work surrounded by reminders of our rich history from which emerges a thriving department, engaged in research at the cutting edge of modern physics. With its outstanding resources, the Department of Physics is a leader in physics research and education.
Our undergraduate program begins with courses designed to help you build a strong foundation, regardless of your prior background in physics. Upper division work deepens your understanding of the basics while introducing more modern and advanced topics. The program culminates in our upper division lab course, where you have a unique opportunity among physics departments nationwide to choose from many different experiments, ranging from classic Nobel Prize winning work (e.g., Optical Pumping or the Mossbauer Effect), to areas of current research interest (nonlinear dynamics and laser manipulation of atoms, among others). We also strongly encourage all of our undergraduates to participate in current research with physics faculty, or with faculty from another Departments (such as Material Science, Electrical Engineering, or Biology), or with scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory or Space Sciences Laboratory, both located minutes away in the hills above campus.
Our aim is to help prepare you for whatever career you choose, be it in industry or consulting, teaching, or continuing on to do graduate work. We believe that a strong background in physics is good preparation for whatever lies ahead. To help develop a program that is appropriate for you, we encourage you to speak with an advisor as soon as possible -- even before you take your first physics course. Please visit our Undergraduate Student Services Office in 368 LeConte Hall for advising.
We also believe in making the Department a pleasant and productive place for students and for one another. Our Society of Physics Students, Physics Scholars Program, and Society for Women in the Physical Sciences are very active groups and would welcome your participation. If you are interested in receiving information about academic and social activities in our Department please sign up in 368 LeConte Hall.
Our alumni take their places among the nation's scientific leaders, in both academia and industry. It is with this in mind that I encourage you and invite you to be a part of the Physics Department.
I wish you luck and a successful academic experience.