The Division of the Physical Sciences

The University of Chicago’s Physical Sciences Division (PSD) has a history of producing world-altering research and scientists who push the boundaries of human understanding. Its faculty and alumni determined the charge of the electron, developed carbon-14 dating, produced the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, devised the Fujita tornado scale, and are widely considered the inventors of astrophysics and cosmochemistry. The division’s faculty, students, and alumni set global agendas, guided by the belief that—students and Nobel laureates alike—they are only as good as their last argument.

The PSD’s strategy to build upon its eminence in the physical and mathematical sciences encompasses four points:

  • Develop ambitious research agendas and programs while producing alumni who will extend the division’s reach across academia
  • Fortify a renowned Physical Sciences Division, attracting the best students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty
  • Serve as the intellectual destination where researchers from around the globe present and hone their breakthroughs
  • Revolutionize science—how we conduct research and how we teach

Each department has specific priorities, and the entire division has several interdisciplinary goals to further these aims. This is a critical moment in which donors can help shift paradigms and profoundly change our understanding of the world.

The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact will raise $300 million to support initiatives through the Physical Sciences Division.

Priorities