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Research and Academics

The Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy (PMA) is home to internationally recognized academic and research programs. In PMA, undergraduate and graduate scholars are given ample opportunity to work closely with outstanding faculty, learning through classroom lectures, discussions, and hands-on research into how the universe works. Those faculty, along with their PMA colleagues, pioneer a wide range of studies that lead to a greater breadth and depth of understanding in fields that cover all scales, from the cosmos down to atoms, electrons, strings, quantum foam, and more.

Undergraduate and graduate students in PMA can enroll in academic programs and pursue research in physics, mathematics, and astronomy.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

The Institute aims for these educational outcomes: 

• Graduates can analyze, synthesize, and communicate ideas. 

• Graduates demonstrate integrity, personal and professional responsibility, and respect for others. 

• Bachelor of Science graduates can identify, analyze, and solve challenging problems within and across science and engineering disciplines. 

• Bachelor of Science graduates can apply their analytic skills to other areas of knowledge and understand issues important in our society. 

• Master of Science graduates can apply advanced knowledge in a specialized area in preparation for their professional careers. 

• Doctor of Philosophy graduates can independently identify, analyze, and solve fundamental research problems with breadth and depth. 

Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes

The Caltech Core Curriculum provides: 

Substantive experience in problem solving, collaboration, and communication.
Students will be able to:
a. Manage increasing academic challenges while developing resilience and confidence. 
b. Develop and satisfy their intellectual curiosity
c. Collaborate effectively and ethically, recognizing diverse models of academic collaboration. 
d. Communicate to a range of audiences through a variety of media.

A broad and rigorous foundation in the sciences.
Students will be able to:
a. Demonstrate understanding of foundational concepts from the sciences. 
b. Use disciplinary thinking, analytical skills, and a range of methods in the sciences. 
c. Apply their knowledge and skills to diverse problems within and across disciplines.

Significant study in the humanities and social sciences.
Students will be able to:
a. Explore and expand upon learning in fields beyond intended areas of specialization. 
b. Appreciate and understand the contributions of the humanities, social sciences, and arts to human endeavors. 
c. Engage in informed analysis of cultural, political, and economic issues.