Physics study program at ITB is one of the FMIPA academic programs since the inception of the FMIPA (Fakultas Matematika dan Ilmu Pengetahuan Alam, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences). FMIPA ITB originated from Faculteit van Exacte Wetenschap (Faculty of Exact Sciences) which was officially opened on October 6, 1947 in Bandung as part of the Nood-Universiteit (Emergency University) in Jakarta. Professor H. Th. Leeman was the first dean. In 1950 the faculty changed its name to Faculteit van Wiskunde en Natuurswetenschap which later became part of Universiteit Indonesie and changed its name to FIPIA (Fakultas Ilmu Pasti dan Ilmu Alam, Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences). On March 2, 1959 the Government of Indonesia inaugurated the establishment of ITB and FIPIA became part of it. The physics undergraduate study program which was originally a “doktorandus” program was born in 1948, the oldest physics program in Indonesia. Subsequently, the master program and doctor program of physics were born in 1979, the master program in physics teaching in 2008, while the master program in nuclear science and engineering and the doctor program in nuclear engineering were established in 2019. The Directorate General of Higher Education officially confirmed the establishment of the first three programs based on decree 119/Dikti/Kep/1984. Since the last three study programs were established after the designation of ITB as an autonomous university, the designation from the Ministry of Education was not necessary.
From the beginning of the national accreditation, the undergraduate, master, and, doctor programs of physics have been accredited A / Superior (Unggul). The master program in physics teaching has also been accredited A, while the master program in nuclear science and engineering and the doctor program in nuclear engineering have not been accredited yet. Regionally and internationally, the undergraduate physics program was certified by AUN-QA (ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance) in 2009 and awarded a quality seal by ASIIN (Akkreditierungsagentur für Studiengänge der Ingenieurwissenschaften, der Informatik, der Naturwissenschaften und der Mathematik), an international accreditation agency based in Germany in 2014.
Students come from all regions of Indonesia and a small percentage from abroad. Selection of prospective undergraduate students is carried out through the national selection bodies (SNMPTN and SBMPTN) and is based on faculty, not study program. On average, prospective students who are accepted at FMIPA ITB have the highest test scores compared to the average scores of prospective students from other FMIPA. Doctoral students are generally young lecturers from various universities. Most students of master program in physics teaching have physics or science education background. Some of them have experiences as physics or science teachers while the rest wish to be teachers or lecturers after completing the program. Some undergraduate students won the On-MIPA yearly national science competition.
Academic staffs who serve study programs have doctoral qualifications obtained from various universities worldwide. Due to the ITB policy which requires most ITB students to take basic physics courses, the number of ITB physics staffs is quite large compared to that of other universities. Staffs are grouped into research divisions of earth physics and complex systems, electronic material physics, instrumentation and computational physics, nuclear physics and biophysics, photonic and magnetic material physics, and theoretical high energy physics. The divisions describe staffs’ area of research.
Since the mid-1990s, the Ministry of Education has implemented competitive quality improvement programs. In the field of education, grants to improve the quality of undergraduate education, namely the QUE (Quality Undergraduate Education) project and PHK-B (Program Hibah Kompetisi B, Competition Grant Program B) were obtained by the undergraduate physics program in 1998-2003 and 2005-2007. These grant were utilized, among others, to improve the quality of the physics library, educational laboratory facilities, and building renovation. In the area of research, two center grants (out of three grants obtained by ITB research divisions) were awarded to division of electronic material physics and earth physics. Since the end of the 20th century until recently, various competitive research grants have been offered by the ministry, other agencies, as well as by ITB itself. The Physics staff are active researchers who partly carry out international cooperation and are also members of national and international associations. They are among those who are very competitive in winning the research grants. In addition, various awards were received by individual staff such as the Habibie award, the best /outstanding paper award, lifetime research achievement award, national lecturer achievement, and study program chair achievement.