The Physics Graduate Program (PPGF) of the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) has started its activities in August 1988. This was a result of an initiative from a group of Professors who, at that moment, joined efforts to establish an active research environment in UFSCar's Physics Department. Even before deciding to request to the Coordination of Superior Level Staff Improvement (CAPES) the creation of the PPGF, the academics needed to face an internal challenge: many potential faculty members were already supervising Master's dissertations and Ph.D. thesis under the celebrated Graduate Program in Physics from the Institute of Physics at USP in São Carlos (IFSC). Many deemed it more reasonable that everything was better to be kept as it was. On one hand, some reckoned that it was inadequate to create yet another program. They argued that the future of the PPGF would encounter an unfavorable competition scenario, due to the existence of such a well-established program at the IFSC, in the very same city. Others also pointed out that the environment for the development of experimental research would be too incipient, and would eventually lead research at PPGF to be focused mostly on theoretical work. In practice, none of these potentially inhibiting aspects prevailed: the PPGF was founded with great success, acting on several fields, many of which very distinct from those research areas developed at IFSC. 
The efforts from the faculty members and students quickly bore results, following the writing of high-quality dissertations. The first of these, in particular, was completely based on experimental research. 
After the first Master's students graduated in Physics at PPGF, the beginning of the Ph.D. program in the second semester of 1991 was a natural consequence. The existence of both graduate degrees permitted, in a few years, to create a foundation for an environment with high-quality, graduate-level research and teaching that prevails since then. It is worth pointing out that the first Ph.D. thesis under the PPGF was also entirely hinged on experimental research.