Program Details

University of California, Irvine (Physics and Astronomy)

Updated: March 26, 2021

Total number of tenure-track or tenured faculty


Number of women in tenure-track or tenured faculty positions


[Calculated] Percentage of women in tenure-track or tenured faculty positions


Total number of graduate students


Number of women graduate students


[Calculated] Percentage of women graduate students


Total number of post doctoral associates


Number of women post doctoral associates


[Calculated] Percentage of women post doctoral associates


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

Graduate students are allowed for 4-weeks of paid sick leave and six weeks of paid leave for childbirth. []
Students can request a Leave of Absence for reasons including family leave, employment, health, etc. They can request up to 3 quarters of leave.

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

The quarterly fees cover the student's health insurance. Family health insurance is not part of the quarterly fees. Students can purchase health insurance for their family []
There are childbirth accommodation where graduate students can be reimbursed for qualified childbirth expenses. []
Further benefits include DepCare FSA allowing students to pay for eligible child/adult dependents on a pretax basis.

Do you have a Woman in Physics Group? If yes, please include link to their website if they have one.

Yes. UCI Womxn in Physics and Astronomy (WiPA). []

Do you have a Physics Graduate Student Association? If yes, please include link to their website if they have one.

Yes. Physics Graduate Caucus (PGC).

What other relevant student groups are there in your institution?

Physics & Astronomy Community Excellence (PACE) Mentoring Program for Graduate Students. []
Physics and Astronomy Resonance Mentoring Program for Undergraduate Students. [ ]
Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience (DECADE) for graduate students and postdocs []
DECADE PLUS, leadership program for undergraduate students. []
Graduate Students are also represented on our Department Committee on Inclusive Excellence. []

Has your institution ever hosted a Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics? If yes, which year?

Yes. We hosted CUWiP2020 at UCI. []

Has your institution ever hosted an APS Climate Site Visit for Women and Minorities in Physics?

Yes. In 2017, we had the APS CSWP Climate Site Visit for Women in Physics for our Department.

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

UCI had an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant to promote gender equity in the hiring and advancement of faculty. As of March 2021, the Department of Physics and Astronomy now has 12 women faculty (23%), and thus our graduate students have visible women role models. Over the last few years, we have seen a rapid increase in the number of women graduate students: Women now make up 30% of the graduate students in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. UCI has convenient and affordable on-campus housing for graduate students and their families. Women graduate students can take a leave of absence for family leave for up to three quarters. Excellent on-campus daycare for infants, toddlers and preschool children of undergraduate and graduate students is subsidized by UCI. Some of the efforts our department has made to make our department more inclusive includes establishing and enforcing the Department code of conduct, the formation of the Department Inclusive Excellence Committee, and the regular Department colloquia and town halls to discuss equity and inclusion. We are part of the APS-IDEA alliances and have hosted and participated in APS CUWiPs. For more information about our efforts towards inclusion, see

Please include the name of faculty or staff member and an email they can be reached at for further questions.

Professor Mu-Chun Chen (
Vice Chair for Graduate Studies

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