Skip to content


About the Department

The Department of Physics and 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 College of Science, the department holds the distinction of awarding the first physics doctoral degree in South Carolina in 1964. The department currently has more than 25 faculty members in its 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.



A Closer Look


Many of our faculty are well known nationally and internationally as they include among them endowed chairs and fellows of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition, several of our faculty members have won prestigious awards and grants.

Students and Curriculum

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has approximately 76 undergraduate and 82 graduate students. The department offers a diverse curriculum comprised of 54 undergraduate courses and 46 graduate courses. Unique among curriculum choices are undergraduate specializations in biophysics and in interdisciplinary studies, which allows students and advisers to design customized curriculums that fits students’ career goals. Many undergraduate students pursue graduate studies at highly ranked programs worldwide and several alumni have reached the highest levels of professional achievement.


The 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 in Pendleton. Beyond these facilities, 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.

Brick building with tree on left; Kinard Laboratory building.
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Department of Physics and Astronomy | 118 Kinard Laboratory, Clemson, SC 29634