How to Apply

Graduate Applications

We offer both a tuition-based Master's Program and a funded Doctoral Program. The Ph.D. program is highly selective. Ph.D. students can earn a Master's degree automatically on the way to completing their Ph.D. Students admitted to the Master's program cannot automatically transition to the Ph.D. track. Therefore, students should apply to the program most suited to their career goals. Students can also apply to both programs by filing two separate applications.

Over recent years, the incoming Ph.D. class has averaged about 16 students per year. Our program's target and actual enrollment vary each year based on a number of factors. The number of international students who enroll in our Ph.D. program also varies widely depending on the applicant pool. We are strongly committed to maintaining a fair and equitable admission process and to cultivating diversity in our student body.

A bachelor’s degree in physics is not required to apply; however, applicants are expected to have a strong background in physics.

Applications for the Physics and Astrophysics Ph.D. program open each year in early September, and the deadline is December 15. There are two separate tracks within our PhD program: Physics and Astrophysics.  Students must select one of the two tracks when completing their application.  The course requirements and milestones for the two tracks are detailed here.  For the Physics track, both GRE general and subject scores are required.  For the Astrophysics track, the GRE general is optional, and the GRE subject is not accepted.  Students are admitted to the specific track selected on their application and cannot switch between them once enrolled in the program.  Therefore, only students with an exclusive interest in astrophysics (experimental and/or theoretical) should apply to the Astrophysics track.  Students who might want to pursue study in either astrophysics or another area of physics should apply to the Physics track.  Prospective students are also encouraged to contact specific faculty members to see whether their current research projects better align with the Physics or Astrophysics tracks.

The Sc.M. program has rolling admissions, with an application deadline of April 1. 

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Application Materials

When an application is electronically submitted, all materials provided by the student (including self-reported scores) should be included. Neither the student nor the Physics department can edit an application once it is submitted.

All submitted applications receive full consideration, even if they are missing materials. The admission committee can best assess a complete application. If the admission committee needs further information from you, you will be contacted.

Materials submitted by others (e.g., letters of recommendation, official transcripts) will be accepted by the application after the deadline date through invitation, or if sent by the institution or TOEFL. If it is necessary to add additional information to an application, a student should contact the Graduate School. Letters of recommendation and/or official scores sent after the application deadline will not impact the consideration of an application.

Applicants are encouraged to upload a scanned image of their transcript at the time of application. An official final transcript will be required of all admitted students who matriculate.

International Applicants

With the exception of applicants who have previously attended an institution in Canada, the UK, or Australia, all international applicants must provide verified transcripts before they can be offered admission by the Graduate School.

Applicants must provide transcripts for all previous institutions attended, and those from institutions not in the countries listed above must be verified. Applicants may use CertiFile or WES for these reports. Please request the course-by-course report.

Applicants who have been recommended for admission by the Physics Ph.D. or Master's program will be asked to submit these materials at a later date.

Only after receipt of these materials can applicants be offered admission by the Graduate School.

The Personal Statement section is required, but the writing sample/essay is not applicable to Physics applications.


Admission to our programs depends on many factors. We cannot assess your chances of admission prior to reviewing your entire application. Please do not email the department looking for feedback on your qualifications or how to maximize your chances.  All applications are considered equally after submission. Presenting the strongest application is the recommendation to all. 

The admission committee reviews all aspects of your application, including your personal statement, recommendation letters, grades, research experience, related original publications, etc. There is no precise formula followed to make an admission decision, but a strong showing in these components is likely to increase your chances of admission.

Admission Decisions

Admissions decisions will be sent to you by the Graduate School when they are made.  The department cannot share this information with you directly. However, if you have any questions about the program, please contact