Mission & History

science student paradePhysics Department


The physics department at IUPUI devotes itself to this mission:

  • Deliver a high quality education in physics to our undergraduate majors and our graduate students
  • Provide high quality courses in physics and astronomy to students in other disciplines at IUPUI
  • Conduct world class research in select areas of physics
  • Serve as a resource for the University and the community in central Indiana, and complement the roles played by IU and PU within the state.
  • Develop and foster an environment in the Department within which faculty members can thrive as they contribute to the teaching, research and service missions of the University.

Physics@IUPUI: A Brief History

The Department of Physics traces its beginning to 1969 when it became a part of the Purdue School of Science through an agreement between Indiana University and Purdue University merging their Indianapolis campuses to form IUPUI. Forrest Meiere was appointed as the first Chairman of the newly formed department, and he recruited the first ten faculty members who were hired to carry out the teaching mission of IUPUI. Subsequent hiring of faculty members, especially through the 1970s, was done to replace retiring or departing faculty members, and it was at this time that the Department began to develop a research emphasis. The early research efforts of the faculty members were in the area of theoretical high energy physics, and later (in the mid to late 70s), efforts were made to develop research programs in experimental magnetic resonance (NMR & EPR). About this time, the Department began to seriously consider the prospect of developing research strengths in interdisciplinary areas, such as Biophysics, partly to leverage the proximity of the Department to the IU School of Medicine. The focus on Biophysics was, at the time, unusual and now in hindsight providential, since the Department over the years has developed a national and international reputation for its excellence in this important area. Today, when every physics department in the country is rushing to add Biophysics to its portfolio of research specialties, the IUPUI Physics Department has compiled a thirty-year record! Read more.

The School of Science

At the IUPUI School of Science, we pride ourselves on our interdisciplinary approach, extensive undergraduate research opportunities, professional school placements, and service to our students. An education from the School of Science pays off: our students go on to top graduate programs, medical schools, and careers in academia, research, and the private sector.

The School of Science at IUPUI offers a strong foundation in the modern life sciences, while our students reap the benefits of IUPUI's location and research diversity. With nearly half of IUPUI's 2009 class of freshmen science majors heralding from the top ten percent of their high school class, our students, from undergraduate to postdoctoral candidates, have much to offer the IUPUI campus and Indianapolis community.


Situated in the heart of Indianapolis, IUPUI is an urban research and life and health sciences institution near five hospitals and the Indiana University schools of medicine, dentistry and nursing. IUPUI´s mission is to advance the State of Indiana and the intellectual growth of its citizens to the highest levels nationally and internationally through research and creative activity, teaching and learning, and civic engagement.