David Van Vranken, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Welcome to the Physical Sciences Student Affairs Office! I joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry in 1994 and have been teaching and conducting research here ever since.
The School of Physical Sciences is a big part of UCI. All told the School consists of just over 3500 people housed in four academic departments, Chemistry, Earth Systems Science, Mathematics, and Physics and Astronomy. Just over three-quarters of the people in the School are undergraduate majors and almost another one-fifth are graduate students. The Student Affairs Office oversees the academic lives of the students in our School and is committed to the academic success of each of them. The key people in the office are the Academic Counselors. Their responsibilities range from one-on-one counseling sessions with individual students to less visible administrative tasks that are nevertheless vital to the operation of an academic unit. The Counselors bring a wealth of expertise, professionalism and creativity to all their activities, particularly their interactions with the School’s students.
UCI is a major research university and as such it offers an educational experience that cannot be had anywhere else. It begins with a solid curriculum in each department’s discipline taught by professors who are contributors to the state-of-the-art in their fields. Once underway, any student can join the professors and participate in research to learn about life at a frontier outposts of the Physical Sciences and to acquire knowledge, learn ways of thinking, and develop skills that cannot be learned in a classroom. The rigorous education Physical Sciences majors receive prepares them for a remarkably broad spectrum of careers. Look around on the Physical Sciences Student Affairs Office website and particularly look at the Alumni and Mentor Program pages to get some idea of the doors your years as a UCI Physical Sciences Student can open.