School of Physical Sciences

One of the founding academic units established in 1965, the UCI School of Physical Sciences has built an international reputation of distinction in scientific research while also embracing the teaching mission of a public university. The School's world-renowned faculty members and research scientists teach and perform research with students to explore the ever-advancing frontiers of knowledge.

From peering back at the first instants in time of the big bang to predicting the future of our planet, from imaging individual atoms and molecules to modeling living cells and cancer tumors, and from synthesizing new molecules to understanding the evolution of the universe – scientists and mathematicians explore all time scales and all size ranges to learn nature's secrets and provide the foundation for the tools used by a modern technological society.

The school is comprised of four highly ranked departments: Chemistry, Mathematics, Earth System Science, and Physics & Astronomy. Currently, the school has 159 faculty members, 2,100 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students. In 1995, the school garnered international prominence when founding faculty members F. Sherwood Rowland (chemistry) and Frederick Reines (physics) each received the Nobel Prize, making UCI the first public university with faculty receiving the award in two different fields in the same year. Building on this foundation, 11 faculty members have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and 9 have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Consistently, professors and students are singled out for prestigious awards recognizing their scientific excellence. The school also takes great pride in the rankings by the National Research Council (NRC) that place each of the four departments above the 90th percentile.

One of our many exciting initiatives at the School of Physical Sciences is Math CEO. The Math CEO program is committed to offering free enrichment activities in mathematics for middle school students in underserved communities, and creating free educational material to be used in classrooms around the world. An essential goal of the program is to encourage students in low income, minority communities in Southern California to pursue a college degree in Mathematics, Science or related fields. To learn more about this incredible endeavor, please visit

Thanks to Vincent Steckler, all gifts made to Physical Sciences will be matched dollar for dollar, up to the first $12,500.​

Vincent Steckler $12,500 Physical Sciences Match
All gifts made to Physical Sciences will be matched dollar for dollar by Vincent Steckler, up to the first $12,500.
$10,235 MATCHED
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