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A little about us

Physicists and Astronomers join our department because of the collaborative opportunities, interdisciplinary research labs, academic reputation, and beautiful surroundings - among other benefits. We invite you to learn about our research opportunities and programmatic offerings so you can decide if our program is right for you. To that end, we are here to answer any questions you may have about the program, the application, or life in Salt Lake City. Before applying, carefully review the detailed instructions on How to Apply and Application Guidance, using the above menu or sidebar. After reading those sections, you can find more information under Frequently Asked Questions.

The application for the 2023 - 2024 school year is closed. Please check your email for a decision announcement. 

Read the requirements, FAQ, and related links before sending questions to the department. 

Admission Standards

Prior to commencing graduate study, applicants must have received a bachelor's degree from an accredited institute, college, or university. Although no single field of undergraduate specialization is required, applicants to the Physics Ph.D. program must have a thorough undergraduate background in the Sciences, and are expected to have mastered basic material in Physics and Mathematics (calculus through differential equations). In addition, a background in Astronomy, Biology or Chemistry may be needed in preparation for the focus of the intended graduate studies.

College physics - intermediate level Mechanics, Electricity & Magnetism, Statistical Mechanics, and Quantum Mechanics - will be especially important in determining your preparation for graduate studies. The Ph.D. program of study does not include refresher material and applicants are expected to have completed some advanced physics courses.

All aspects of an application will be thoroughly considered during the holistic evaluation process. Applicants should have a grade point average equivalent to 3 or better on a 4-point scale in their Bachelor or Master degree courses. Subject area course grades above 3.5 and/or a trend of increasing GPA are considered positive indicators for applications.

International applicants may need to met University requirements for English language proficiency. This link provides more information.

Master's Degree Applicants

US institutions differ from counterparts in Asia and Europe in that a Master's degree is not required before applying for Ph.D. If your ultimate goal is earning a Ph.D. , please apply directly to the Ph.D. program, there is no need to first apply for a Master's degree. Our graduate program is structured to support Ph.D.-seeking students. MS-seeking students can read the FAQ for more info. If, after reading the FAQ, you are still interested in applying for a master's degree, you must inform the graduate coordinator. There is no application fee-waiver for the MS-program.

If you feel that you may need more preparation before applying to a Ph.D. program, please check out our post-baccalaureate fellowship, linked on the menu.

All materials must be submitted through the ApplyYourself portal no later than midnight EST January 15, 2023. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Requirements and the fee waiver code can be found on the How to Apply page. Please carefully review the requirements and instructions before emailing the admission team.

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.