About Us

About Us


The mission of the graduate program in Applied Science is to foster the use of fundamental mathematical and scientific knowledge to improve the quality of life. We provide the profession and academia with outstanding computational applied science and optical science and engineering graduates who advance both engineering practice and fundamental knowledge.

We challenge students to develop attributes that lead to professional growth throughout their careers: a sense of community, a sense of ethical responsibility, an expectation for lifelong learning and continuing education, the ability to think independently and perform creatively and effectively in teams, and the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in written media.

Upon graduation, we challenge our students to understand the fundamentals and the application of mathematics and sciences, to have an ability to design, conduct, and understand experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data; to have a proficiency in the design of components and systems to meet desired performance specifications; an ability to function effectively on multi disciplinary teams; a proficiency in the use of techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools to identify, formulate, and solve scientific and engineering problems; an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility; a proficiency in oral and written communication; the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context; an ability to engage in graduate education and life-long learning; and a knowledge of contemporary issues that have an impact on society and the profession.

About the Program

The program in Applied Science at the University of California, Davis is a two-campus organization, with a beautiful new building containing state-of-the-art labs at the Davis Campus, and Hertz Hall, adjacent to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. At the Davis Campus we not only have graduate research opportunities, but we also offer one of the most attractive undergraduate majors in any College of Engineering in the country: Optical Science and Engineering. This four-year program prepares students for jobs in the telecommunications, lasers, and optics industries, as well as providing an outstanding training platform for students who wish to pursue advanced degrees in applied physics, applied science, engineering, and even basic physics.

The graduate program in Applied Science has been in existence for over forty years, and has graduated more than 350 Ph.D. students, many of whom have obtained positions in the national laboratories or in Silicon Valley companies. The program specializes in virtually all combinations of traditional fields, with emphasis on laser physics and technology, plasma diagnostics, fusion energy, accelerator technology, computational sciences, bioscience and biotechnology, materials technology, and environment/energy sciences. The program has a core faculty of outstanding scientists, many of whom have joint appointments with national laboratories.

In addition, the program has a number of Adjunct Professors from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. These professors accept students in their research program; such students have unparalleled access to the finest research equipment, ultra-high-speed computational facilities, and a rich environment of dynamic, cutting-edge excellence in Applied Science.

We are proud of our commitment to work with all degree students to find the right combination of disciplines to construct a research program precisely tailored to the interests of each student. With the resources of all ten campuses of the University of California and two of the national laboratories, we find the best research and course instruction in a given area of physical science available anywhere, be it a combination of laser technology and medical instrumentation or a mixture of super-computer computational studies and analytical chemistry.

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