About Us

The Physical Sciences Division (PSD) has a rich history of advancing and defining new fields of discovery in the physical and mathematical sciences, and this tradition of innovation continues today. Our inquiry and impact spans from the edge of the observable universe to human-computer interaction, from biophysical materials science to the geologic record of seawater composition, from gravitational waves to geometric flows, and beyond.

The division includes the academic departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geophysical Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. In addition, PSD is home to a number of interdisciplinary research institutes and centers, including the Enrico Fermi Institute, the James Franck Institute, and the Kavli Center for Cosmological Physics. Many of our scientists have joint appointments at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory as well as joint affiliations with other Chicago-based research institutions such as the Toyota Technological Institute of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, The Museum of Science and Industry, and the Field Museum. Our students build connections with world-leading scientists, collaborate across disciplines, and enjoy the dynamic Chicago and University communities.


To be preeminent in expanding, deepening, and redefining fields in the physical and mathematical sciences.


To discover and apply fundamental laws of nature and reason, foster an inclusive and creative intellectual environment, and shape the next generation of physical and mathematical scientists.

Core Values

In the PSD, we...

  • prioritize scientific advancement, collaboration, and education
  • lead with integrity and transparency
  • create a culture of respect, inclusion, and wellness