The Department of Physics and Astronomy at UTSA offers undergraduate and graduate students research opportunities in six principal areas:

  • Astrophysics and Cosmology
  • Biophysics
  • Computational Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Science
  • Nanotechnology and Ultramicroscopy

The Department also encourages collaborations among different research groups, across campus, and with other institutions, including the Space Physics and Instrumentation Graduate program with Southwest Research Institute.

The Department offers first-rate facilities in atomic force microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, ultrafast optical spectroscopy and microscopy, terahertz spectroscopy, pulsed laser thin film deposition, thin film characterization, atomic layer deposition, and mass spectrometry. The research carried out by the faculty members is avant-grade and proudly produces many publications in high impact, world renowned journals.

Visit each principal area for a more detailed description of the research activities performed. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to discuss the possibilities to better fit your research interests.

electron microscope

Research Areas

Astrophysics employs the principles of physics and chemistry to determine the nature of astronomical objects; cosmology is the study of the origin, evolution, and ultimate fate of the universe.

For more information, go to the American Astronomical Society.

Participating Faculty

Biophysics is a bridge between physics and biology; it applies the approaches and methods of physics to study biological systems.

For more information, go to the Biophysical Society.

Participating Faculty

Computational physics is the study and implementation of numerical analysis to solve problems in physics for which a quantitative theory already exists.

For more information, go to the American Physical Society: Division of Computational Physics.

Participating Faculty

Condensed matter physics deals with the physical properties of condensed phases of matter. Experimental condensed matter physics uses experimental probes to discover new properties of materials; theoretical condensed matter physics uses theoretical models to understand properties of states of matter.

For more information, go to the   American Physical Society: Division of Condensed Matter Physics.

Participating Faculty



Materials Science is a broad field of study that is based on physics, chemistry, and engineering which all interact with the fundamental principles of materials. Materials Science is one of the pillars of modern technology and is necessary for many industries that need advanced materials with tailored properties. This field has had a strong impact on the development of new technologies and finding solutions to critical design problems to improve existing products.

Participating Faculty

Nanotechnology involves the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale. Ultramicroscopy uses an optical microscope to detect particles smaller than the wavelength of light.

For more information, go to the International Association of Nanotechnology.

Participating Faculty

The UTSA-SwRI Space Physics Graduate Program is a partnership between SwRI and UTSA and offers graduate research opportunities in Space Physics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics.