Program Details

University of California, San Diego

How many tenure-track or tenured faculty -- male/female?

As of October 2011, UCSD Physics has 47 tenure-track/tenured faculty: 44 male and 3 female (6.4%). We also have 3 adjunct faculty: 2 male and 1 female.

How many graduate students-- male/female?

As of October 2011, UCSD Physics has 164 graduate students: 137 male and 27 female (16.5%).

How many post doctoral associates - male/female?

As of October 2011, UCSD Physics has 53 postdoctoral researchers: 44 male and 9 female (17.0%).

Is there a family leave policy for graduate students? If so, describe.

UC San Diego "Parenting Leave" program covers students (male or female) who have primary responsibility for the care of an infant immediately following birth, or a child under the age of five years, or adoption of a child under age of five years. The student must be in good academic standing, and requests may be made for up to three quarters leave of absence (this is in addition to the three-quarter leave limit that is available to all graduate students).

The UCSD campus-wide leave of absence policy can be found at

Is there family health insurance for graduate students? If so, is it included in the stipend?

Supplemental coverage for dependents is available for graduate students, but is not included as part of the graduate student stipend.

UCSD graduate student health policies are described at

Please describe why someone applying to graduate school who is interested in a female-friendly department should choose your department.

As part of its mission, the Department of Physics is committed to promoting the training and advancement of a diverse scientific workforce, in particular women and minorities who are underrepresented in Physics. We achieves this through various departmental, campus-wide and national activities, including:

• The UCSD Graduate Women in Physics group, which holds monthly lunch talks on career issues, establishes mentorship networks, and generally provides a forum and community for women of the UCSD Physics department;
• The Center for Theoretical Biophysics Diversity Outreach Initiative, which facilitates interactions between UCSD faculty and students at local minority-serving institutions.
• Participation in national societies and meetings addressing diversity issues in Physics, including SACNAS, the National Societies of Black and Hispanic Physicists, and the AAS Committees on the Status of Women and Minorities in Astronomy.
• Outreach aimed at encouraging young women and underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in science, including TechTrek (sponsered by the AAUW) and Reach for Tomorrow programs.

Throughout its 50-year history, the UCSD Department of Physics has counted among its faculty leading women physicists, astronomers and space scientists, including Nobel laureate Dr. Maria Goeppert-Mayer, National Medal of Science winner Dr. Margaret Burbridge, and APS fellow and first female astronaut Dr. Sally Ride. Today, leading women physicists continue to be part of the UCSD Physics faculty:

• Dr. Alison Coil, a Sloan Fellow and NSF Career Fellow is an observational astrophysicist who specializes in galaxy formation, and is one of the founders of the Southern California Center for Galaxy Evolution.
• Dr. Olga Dudko, an NSF Career Fellow, is a theoretical biophysicist who studies the dynamics of single-molecule systems.
• Dr. Elizabeth Jenkins a Sloan Fellow and NSF Young Investigator Awardee, is a high energy theorist who examines symmetries to understand the interactions of elementary particles.
• Dr. Tatyana Sharpee, a Sloan Fellow and recipient of the Keck Foundation Research Excellence Award, is a computational neurobiologist who studies the theoretical principles of how the brain processes information.

Has the institution had a Climate for Women in Physics Site Visit or Gender Equity Conversation?


Updated: February 13, 2012

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