May 26, 2024  
2023-2024 Cal State East Bay Catalog 
2023-2024 Cal State East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Physics

Hayward Hills Campus MapThe Department Office is located on the 2nd Floor of the North Science (SC-N) building, Room 231
Open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday.
Dept. Phone: (510) 885-3401



Erik Helgren (Chair), Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles

Derek Kimball, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley

Jason Singley, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego

Associate Professors

Amy Furniss, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz

Kathryn Grimm, Ph.D. State University of New York, Stony Brook

Ryan Smith, Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder

Assistant Professors

Arran Phipps, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley


Department Statement

Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us. It is the most basic and fundamental science. Physics challenges our imaginations with concepts like relativity and string theory, and it leads to great discoveries, like computers and lasers, that change our lives. In Physics, one attempts to discover, formulate, explain, and apply the basic laws of nature. Topics of study in Physics are as diverse as astrophysics, relativity, properties of materials, or the standard model of fundamental particles and interactions. Principles of Physics provide the foundation for other sciences as well as engineering. 

At Cal State East Bay students can choose between a Physics, B.S. degree and a Physics, B.A. degree.

The B.S. degree offers a comprehensive curriculum with a hands-on philosophy to learning that includes numerous laboratory courses and a strong emphasis on undergraduate research with faculty. The Physics, B.S. degree major program is designed to give students an in-depth and focused understanding of the fundamentals of physics including concepts of classical mechanics, wave motion and sound, electromagnetism and optics, heat and thermodynamics, relativity, quantum mechanics, and elementary particles and their interactions. The program prepares students for graduate school in Physics and is also an excellent foundation for other professional schools. The Physics B.S. program also prepares students for careers in basic research, defense industry, clean energy, science education, and all technology-related sectors.

The B.A. degree also provides hands-on learning with lab-based coursework but requires fewer courses, and as such the B.A. program can be finished in an accelerated timeframe.  The B.A. program still provides enough experience and breadth of study so that students are well prepared for careers in basic research, defense industry, clean energy, science education, and all technology-related sectors.

Physics Major Learning Objectives

Students graduating with a Physics, B.S. or Physics, B.A. degree will be able to:

  1. Understand the fundamental principles of physics and be able to apply these core ideas to analyze physical processes;
  2. Apply quantitative reasoning and critical thinking to solve complex problems, both theoretical and experimental in nature;
  3. Independently learn new technical subjects and skills;
  4. Design, construct, assess, and troubleshoot experiments, quantitatively analyze the results using appropriate statistical procedures and tests of systematic errors, and draw meaningful conclusions;
  5. Effectively communicate scientific ideas, both theoretical and experimental, to diverse audiences through written and oral presentations, both formal and informal;
  6. Work professionally, effectively, and inclusively as a member of diverse collaborations to solve problems.

The Physics department also offers minors in Physics and Astronomy!

About the Department

Use our university website link to learn more about what the Physics Department has to offer.

  • Advising
  • Resources
  • Graduate School
  • Scholarships
  • Spitzer Physics Seminars
  • Internships
  • And more…


    Bachelor of Arts

    Bachelor of Science



      PhysicsPhysics: Astronomy