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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Graduate Study

professor and student working on scientific equipment

Graduate Degree Programs

Welcome to the graduate program in the Department of Physics at Syracuse University!

Our graduate program provides a stimulating environment for students who work closely with distinguished faculty members on cutting-edge research projects. Our faculty are engaged in internationally recognized research in astrophysics and cosmology, experimental and theoretical particle physics, experimental nuclear physics, experimental and theoretical biological physics, quantum computing and quantum information science, experimental and theoretical soft-matter physics, and gravitational-wave physics and astronomy. You can find out more by looking at our research group pages and by writing to individual faculty to find out what opportunities are currently available for prospective graduate students.

The Department of Physics at Syracuse University offers programs leading to a Ph.D. in Physics and an M.S. in Physics. We primarily admit students for the Ph.D. degree, but students who have third-party support may be considered for admission to the M.S. degree. From the beginning, students are encouraged to become involved in research by talking to faculty and engaging in both formal and informal work in individual research groups. Most students will have located a research advisor and have begun their doctoral research by the end of their second year.

We have approximately 30 faculty and 90 graduate students together with a large number of postdoctoral fellows working with the different research groups. Our department has a diverse international flavor, with faculty, students and postdocs from all corners of the world. The graduate program is designed to provide a stimulating environment that aims to transition students quickly from course work to research. Graduate student progress is carefully monitored. We realize that many students will go on to careers outside of academics and every effort is made to educate students about the wide variety of career paths available to physicists with advanced degrees. Our graduate alumni work all over the world in academic and industrial positions of all kinds.


Through a combination of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships the university provides full tuition scholarships, stipends, and subsidized medical insurance for essentially all graduate students. All students who are admitted to the Ph.D. program are offered a teaching assistantship for their first two years at Syracuse. Additionally, a number of University and STEM fellowships are sometimes available. For more information, see the page on Financial Support.

If you would like to visit, please contact us ( to arrange for a tour of the department. We also hold an open day for prospective students in the Spring of each year where students can talk to faculty and current students and tour the department's labs and facilities. For more information about the program and applying, please see our Ph.D. FAQ.


Our priority deadline is December 10th, 2021. Our second deadline is January 15th, 2022.
Although we will accept applications until January 15th, those received by December 10th will get better consideration for the fall term. Details regarding the application process can be found on our application instructions page. For further questions concerning application to the Physics graduate program please check our frequently asked questions page and for additional information, contact

Ph.D. in Physics

The Ph.D. degree is awarded to students who complete 48 credits of graduate-level coursework, pass a written qualifying examination, pass a research oral examination on the student’s proposed research, complete a written thesis based upon original research, and pass a thesis defense examination. Please see the Ph.D. in Physics page for a detailed description of the program.

M.S. in Physics

The degree can be achieved in any three different ways through a combination of coursework, thesis work and/or independent study. Please see the M.S. in Physics page for a detailed description of the program. Students in the Ph.D. program will satisfy the requirements of the M.S. and so may optionally claim the M.S. degree as they proceed towards the Ph.D.