Information for applicants to the graduate program:
The graduate program in physics and astronomy is directed primarily towards the PhD degree, emphasizing completion of an original and significant research investigation. The department will, however, award a M.S. degree signifying a knowledge of physics well beyond the undergraduate level but without the comprehensive background and intensive research effort of the Ph.D.
The departmental research program presently emphasizes experimental and theoretical works in particle physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, astrophysics, and astronomy.
We no longer accept paper applications. Further information about the online application process may be obtained by clicking on the link below:
Apply online beginning October 1, 2012-December 31, 2012 (Codes: School 2926, Department 0808)
Special Admissions Requirements
A Bachelor's degree in physics, astronomy, or a related science is required. If the Bachelor's degree is not in physics or astronomy, a strong physics minor is necessary. Prior research experience is strongly encouraged. The GRE general test is required. The GRE subject test in physics is required. For applicants whose native language is not English, the TOEFL exam is required to demonstrate proficiency in English.
For Further Information
- Millicent Minnick
- Academic Coordinator
- Department of Physics and Astronomy
- University of Pennsylvania
- 209 S 33rd Street
- Philadelphia, PA 19104-6396
- email: admiss - at- physics.upenn.edu
- Address admission inquiries to: Admissions Coordinator, Department of Physics and Astronomy
- Graduate application fee required: $80
- Admission deadline (Fall admission): December 31
- Admission information: We typically make offers of admission to about 12 percent of those who apply. For example, for fall admission to the 2012-13 year, 50 students were accepted from 428 applicants.
- Admission requirements: Bachelor's degree in physics, astronomy or a related science. If the Bachelor's degree is in another field, a strong physics minor is required. No minimum undergraduate GPA is specified. No minimum score on the GRE verbal and quantitative is specified. However, the average GRE scores for 2011-12 matriculants were: verbal-626 (non-native English speakers excluded); quantitative-780. The average GRE Advanced score for 2011-12 matriculants was 781.
- Undergraduate preparation assumed: A typical student will have completed intermediate and advanced courses in mechanics (Marion, Becker, etc.); electricity and magnetism (Reitz and Milford, Corson and Lorrain); quantum mechanics (Saxon, etc.); and undergraduate laboratory.
Students may receive credit for graduate courses taken at other institutions, though no more than 8 credits may be transferred. After the Graduate Chair determines whether an equivalent graduate course has been taken, the student must go to the current instructor for that course for a standardized evaluation of the instructor's design. If the instructor determines that the student knows the course material, then that course will be waived and, if appropriate, credit will be given.