Welcome to the Department

Department Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Physics and Astronomy contributes to the general mission of the College of Arts and Sciences by advancing and disseminating knowledge and understanding of the physical world. Being one of the fundamental sciences, physics underpins much of our current technology and quality of life. The Department of Physics and Astronomy is striving to provide a high-quality education that prepares majors in physics and other disciplines for the challenges and opportunities presented by our modern technical society. Rigorous classroom instruction and laboratory experiences are essential components of physics education, as is the involvement of students at both the undergraduate and graduate level in the scholarly pursuit of new knowledge. The advancement part of the mission is accomplished by maintaining a vigorous research program in fundamental physics and by preparing young physicists to continue this work. Dissemination is accomplished by offering sound degree programs to serve future researchers, teachers of physics, and workers in industry, by providing courses aimed at giving non-physics majors a basic knowledge of physics and astronomy, and by taking advantage of opportunities to render professional service to the scientific community, the state, and to society at large.

In order to accomplish this mission, the goals and objectives of the Department of Physics and Astronomy are:

  • to have quality academic programs that provide physics students with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to make them competitive in a modern technical society;
  • to effectively serve the physics instructional needs of other disciplines and the USC core curriculum;
  • to advance the science and profession of Physics by pursuing new knowledge through research, and disseminating new knowledge through publications, patents, and professional presentations;
  • to recruit, develop, and retain faculty of the highest caliber;
  • to reflect the ethnic, cultural and gender diversity of our state and nation in its faculty, staff and student populations;
  • to seek national recognition and federal support for the department’s research programs;
  • to address issues of special relevance to the State of South Carolina and the nation;
  • to support the College and University overall outreach mission and focus on serving area elementary, middle and high schools by sharing expertise, facilities and equipment.