All application waiver requests should be directed to the Graduate Division of Art and Sciences (

Please do not send transcripts or other documents to the “admiss@upenn” email address.


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.

Further information about the online application process may be obtained by clicking on the link below: 

(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. We do not require GRE scores as part of our admissions process, but like many other items of a student’s application—transcript, letters, statement—they may provide information about you as a student that might otherwise be missed. If you have chosen to take the GREs and feel that they demonstrate an ability that is not shown otherwise by your record, please note this in your research statement. For applicants whose native language is not English, the TOEFL exam is required to demonstrate proficiency in English.

For Further Information

Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Pennsylvania
209 S 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6396
telephone:(215) 898-3125
department (215) 898-8141
email: admiss - at-

Admission Statistics

  • Address admission inquiries to: Admissions Coordinator, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Graduate application fee required: $90
  • Admission deadline (Fall admission): December 15
  • Admission information: We typically make offers of admission to about 12 percent of those who apply.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Transfer Credit

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.


Cal-Bridge logo

The Cal-Bridge program has the mission of creating opportunities for traditionally underrepresented groups to participate and advance in physics, astronomy, computer science, and computer engineering and to increase their numbers in PhD programs in those fields. The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania is a dedicated partner of the Cal-Bridge program. Learn more about the Cal-Bridge program here.