About Us

The Department of Physics at New Mexico State University is committed to: advancing experimental and theoretical physics; educating undergraduate and graduate student for careers in industry; government & academia; and assisting New Mexico’s development through research and public service.

Our department has fifteen faculty members and approximately thirty graduate students who engage in a wide variety of research projects and other educational pursuits in many different areas of physics such as Optics & Materials Physics, Particle & Nuclear Physics, and Geophysics.

Along with education and research, on the main campus of NMSU, our researchers have a long and established collaborative history with national facilities. Other research, summer internships and assistantships are done at facilities such as Brookhaven National Lab, Los Alamos National Lab, Fermi National Accelerator Lab, Sandia National Lab, Argonne National Lab, White Sands Missile Range and Jefferson Lab to name a few.

The education and training we give our students provide a broad background of knowledge and skills that enables them to pursue successful careers in industry, government, teaching, the military, and other fields. Our graduates continue to tell the department that they feel their experience here has served them very well. Most of the departmental faculty have active research programs supported by agencies of the U.S. government; these research grants total more than $2 million per year.

Many of our physics faculty and emeriti are world renowned in their respective fields. Undergraduate students often spend part of their time working on research with faculty in the department or at national laboratories as well as taking a wide range of courses during their REU internships. Graduate students work with faculty on a wide variety of research projects and other educational pursuits. In addition to many research laboratories in the NMSU Physics Department’s 60,000 square foot building, the department makes extensive use of major international facilities and maintains interdisciplinary programs with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Mechanical Engineering, as well as the Department of Mathematics. Teaching and research assistantships are available for financial support during the academic year, with summer support usually available from the department’s research groups or nearby national laboratories.

NMSU is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, a small but rapidly growing sun-belt city near the large multi-cultural metropolitan areas of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. The expansive, attractively landscaped campus is set in a spectacular natural setting of rugged mountains, the green Rio Grande valley, and high desert vistas. The cultural advantages of a major university, the friendly atmosphere of a small college town, and abundant outdoor recreation, enhanced by the mild and sunny climate, are all available to students at NMSU.

Please see our Statement of Functions and Criteria (Approved on January 19, 2021).


The Department of Physics at New Mexico State University was founded by Dr. George Gardiner in 1934. Dr. Gardiner

George W. Gardiner

Dr. George W. Gardiner was the first Department Head of Physics at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (NMA&M), as NMSU was formerly known. Dr. Gardiner was also the founder of NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory in 1947.

Gardiner Hall

Gardiner Hall is the home of Physics and the Engineering Physics programs; it was erected in 1956 and named after George W. Gardiner.

Gardiner Hall recently underwent a major renovation to support an ever-growing Physics department and the technological advancement needs of our students and research.