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About Us

The Department of Physics & Astronomy has a long history at Clemson University that can be traced back to physics courses that were taught to the first graduating class of 1896 in the old Mechanical College. Now part of the newly organized College of Science, the department holds the distinction of awarding the first physics doctoral degree in South Carolina in 1964. We currently have over 25 faculty members in our ranks who teach and do research in a broad range of sub-fields, including astrophysics, atomic physics, atmospheric physics, biophysics, condensed matter physics and foundational quantum mechanics. Many of our faculty are well known nationally and internationally as they include among them endowed chairs and fellows of the American Physical Society (APS), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In addition, several of our young faculty members have won prestigious awards and grants.

The student body currently sits at over 75 undergraduates and 60 graduate students. We offer a diverse curriculum comprised of more than 40 undergraduate courses and 30 graduate courses. Unique among our curriculum choices are undergraduate specializations in biophysics and in interdisciplinary studies, which allows a student and advisor to design a customized curriculum that fits their career goals. Many of our undergraduates go on to pursue graduate studies at highly ranked programs worldwide and several of our alumni have reached the highest levels of professional achievement.

Our department is housed primarily in the Kinard Laboratory of Physics at the center of campus and has more recently expanded to include fully-equipped laboratories in Jordan Hall and at the Advanced Materials Research Lab (AMRL). Beyond these facilities, our faculty and students in astrophysics and atmospheric physics conduct research at a diverse set of locations that stretch from near the north pole to the southern hemisphere.