The University of Utah
Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah


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Application Process

All materials must be submitted through the ApplyYourself portal.

Before applying, you may want to peruse our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).


Required Application Materials

  1. Completed ApplyYourself Application: Read the application carefully. Omitted information can delay the processing of your application. Allow processing time of four to six weeks in the Admissions Office. Please state the Physics & Astronomy department on the appropriate line of your application.
  2. Transcripts: Official copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent directly by the institution. The transcripts may also be included with the other application materials if they are in a sealed envelope. For foreign institutions, include official transcripts in the original language and official English translations if the original language is not English.
  3. Letters of Recommendation: The Physics & Astronomy Department will review at least three but not more than five letters of personal reference from course instructors, research supervisors, or employers who are familiar with your abilities and performance. The reference should use Recommendation Form #1 in ApplyYourself.
  4. Personal Statement: The personal Statement must include three parts, two pertaining to the applicants' Statement of Purpose in which the applicants are asked to (1) Tell something related to physics or astronomy that they find exciting (500 words maximum); (2) Discuss their goals for graduate school and their future careers, and how these goals match the opportunities offered by the research programs in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. If possible, applicants should identify specific faculty contacts and/or research programs of interest within the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Applicants should also address in this part of the personal statement how their backgrounds and life experiences have contributed to  their decision to pursue a graduate degree (500 words maximum). Part (3) of the personal statement should contain a table listing courses that the applicants have takes in their previous undergraduate or studies which have prepared them for the graduate studies at the University of Utah's Department of Physics and Astronomy. Please list for each course, the course title, the grade as well as the name of the institution where it was taken. List these course in a table, ordered into three categories: (i) Lower division undergraduate studies; (ii) Upper division and/or graduate level general physics courses; (iii) Upper division and/or graduate level physics courses of specialization (e.g. condensed matter physics, atomic and molecular physics, high energy physics, biophysics, etc.) if applicants have taken such courses. Do not list courses in this table which have not directly prepared you for your intended physics graduate studies such as general education course.
  5. Financial Assistance: If you are applying for financial assistance, please indicate this on the ApplyYourself application form. The Department of Physics and Astronomy intends to be able to provide research or teaching assistantships for all qualifying applicants. During the first 10 semesters of graduate study, The University of Utah Graduate School or the Department of Physics and Astronomy will provide a tuition waiver for semesters when a graduate student receives one of these assistantships.
  6. GRE Scores: All applicants should arrange to take the General GRE and have the results sent to the Physics & Astronomy Department. Official scores must be submitted before an applicant can be accepted by the University of Utah. If you desire any additional information concerning GRE tests, visit the GRE website. Submission of the Physics Subject GRE (PGRE) is optional.
  7. For International Applicants Only: TOEFL scores: An official report of scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System the will be necessary. All test dates must be within two years of admission for scores to be valid. The following applicants do not need to submit proof of English proficiency: Native speakers of English who are citizens of Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland. Continuing students currently enrolled at the University of Utah and moving from one degree level to another, or one program to another (with a break of no more than two years between the 'change' from one degree level/program to the next).

Official transcripts should be sent to:

Graduate Admissions Coordinator
University of Utah
Department of Physics & Astronomy
201 James Fletcher Bldg.
115 South 1400 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0830

Official scores should be sent through ETS using the following codes:

ETS Codes

GRE inst. 4853 - dept. 0808

TOEFL inst. 4853 - dept. 76 (under "Physical Sciences")

For more information about the application process, requirements, financial aid, etc., see our Graduate Handbook. (PDF) If you have any questions regarding admissions to the University of Utah, please contact:

Graduate Admissions Coordinator
University of Utah
Physics & Astronomy Department
115 South 1400 East, Room 201
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0830 USA

Phone: (801) 581-6861
Fax: (801) 581-4801
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Applications for admission to the graduate program are evaluated usually during the month of February. The recommendations of the Admissions Committee are sent to the Graduate Admissions Office of the University of Utah. The formal decision on admission is made by the University's Graduate Admissions Office, which will then notify you directly of its decision. Please note that on rare occasions the Graduate Admissions Office may decide against the recommendation of the Physics & Astronomy Department; consequently the letter from the Physics & Astronomy Department does not constitute formal acceptance.

The University of Utah is fully committed to policies of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity, and vigorously pursues affirmative action in all programs, activities, and employment with regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, and status as a handicapped individual.

Religion, sexual orientation, and status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era also are protected under nondiscrimination and equal opportunity employment policies. Evidence of practices not consistent with this policy should be reported to the Office of the President of the University, 801-581-8365. Any false or misleading information provided in the support of this application may result in dismissal from the Graduate School.

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  • Dept of Physics & Astronomy • 201 James Fletcher Bldg. 115 S. 1400 E., Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0830
  • PHONE 801-581-6901
  • Fax 801-581-4801
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