Physics at UB

Inside the lab of Assistant Professor Hao Zeng

The Department of Physics provides the primary locus for learning, research and service in basic and applied physics. We offer rigorous training in physics at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and are actively involved in collaborative outreach, serving the Western New York community and neighboring schools. 

Physics Study – What does it include?

Physics traditionally is a science that asks the deepest question of nature: How can one understand the workings of the universe around us, from the smallest to the biggest? Nature continually challenges us to explain how matter forms and how it acquires certain properties.

Physics today, with the help of modern technology, creates man-made structures beyond nature's ability to offer. It borders and mixes with the neighboring disciplines of chemistry, engineering and biology. Physics research at UB is conducted through vigorous, interdisciplinary collaboration with a wide range of science and engineering departments throughout the world.

Products of UB Physics are well-represented by our successful alumni, with more than 100 PhD's graduated in the last ten years. Look at where they land.

Our faculty members are involved in pioneering research in several areas, including condensed matter physics, high energy physics/cosmology/astrophysics, and biophysics. The faculty boasts nine NSF CAREER Award recipients, and a strong commitment to education and research. Many research groups are also active members of several interdisciplinary research centers on campus, offering our students broad-based education and training. 

By any standard, our undergraduate students are truly exceptional. In the last three years, our majors have received three Goldwater Scholarships and one honorary mention, and four NSF and DoD graduate research fellowships. In addition, numerous graduate fellowships from universities such as Stanford and UC Berkeley have been awarded, as well as one first author paper in the Physical Review Letters and one perfect score on the physics GRE. Two of our majors were among the ten Outstanding Winners of the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) in 2015, with 7,636 teams competing from all over the globe. 

Our graduate program is at the heart of our research mission, with roughly 90 students joining us from all over the world. About half of our graduate students receive university and department named scholarships during their study. Our outstanding record of graduate placement is a testament to our commitment to excellence in graduate education, and the knowledge and skills graduate students acquire during their years with the department.


The Buffalo/Niagara Falls region is a rich, diverse environment for learning, living, and cultural and recreational activities. I invite you to explore our department and learn more about the exciting opportunities in UB Physics. Please contact us if we can be of any assistance. We look forward to your application and we hope you can join our community of scholars.

– Hong Luo, department chair