The Department of Physics is one of the departments in the Faculty of Science, and its history is intertwined with the history of the university. The then University of Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland (UBBS) opened in 1964 and became the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (UBLS) in 1966. The University of Botswana and Swaziland (UBS) came into being in 1976, and finally a separate University of Botswana (UB) was established in 1982.
Physics was largely taught to undergraduate students leading to the award of BSc and BEd degrees until in 1993 when MSc and shortly later MPhiL and PhD Degree programmes were introduced. Currently specialisation at the Postgraduate Physics Degree level is guided by the student interest, facilities and staff availability. Facilities include SEM and TEM electron microscopes. Currently the department has research groups in various areas of specialisation including: atmospheric physics, condensed matter/material science, environmental Physics, instrumentation, geophysics, radiation physics, solar energy physics and theoretical Physics.