Georgia State University

25 Park Place, Suite 605, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, United States of America


Our research activities cover the range from constituents of matter at the subatomic and molecular levels to solar/stellar astrophysics and the evolution of active galaxies. Our CHARA Array is the largest optical/IR interferometer in the world.

Georgia State University is a large urban research university in downtown Atlanta and classified as a minority-majority institution. The Department of Physics and Astronomy has separate Ph.D. programs in Astronomy and Physics, with about 80 active graduate students. Training students to become creative and independent scientists and teachers in a diverse environment is a major focus of our department. Several of our graduate students have recently won national fellowships (NSF, NASA).

We provide a supportive and nurturing atmosphere and encourage applications from underrepresented groups in physics and astronomy including women, LGBTQIA, and people of color. The Department is very active in observational astronomy, with the CHARA optical interferometer, participation in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), and access to the Apache Point Observatory (APO) in New Mexico, and to the Small and Moderate Aperture Research Telescope System (SMARTS) in Chile. Observations mainly focus on stellar astrophysics, active galactic nuclei (AGNs), and the dynamics of the Milky Way galaxy.

We also have a very active astroinformatics group, with focus on solar physics, solar activity, and the prediction of space weather, and with strong collaborative ties with the Department of Computer Sciences. Our high-energy physics research group has very active collaborations notably with Brookhaven National Labs (BLN) and with the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab), and are participants in the sPHENIX experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and partners in the development of the future Electron-ion Collider (EIC). At the microscopic level, our research faculty are also active in opto-electronics, nano-optics, and the physics of two-dimensional materials like graphene.

Our faculty also have significant research projects in molecular and cellular biophysics, and in the use of infrared imaging for medical diagnosis. Finally, our Department has research interests in neurophysics and brain imaging, with collaborations with the joint Georgia State and Georgia Tech Center for Advanced Brain Imaging (CABI).

Program Requirements

M.S. students must complete a minimum of 24 semester hours of course work. M.S. students must either complete an acceptable thesis or complete 6 additional hours of course work.

The Ph.D. degrees each require a minimum of 71 semester hours (beyond the B.S.). Students must complete and defend an acceptable dissertation in physics or astronomy. Qualifying exams are also required.
GRE Requirements: Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Not Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

The Department is fostering a friendly and supportive environment. All admitted PhD students are guaranteed a tuition waiver and minimum stipend if they maintain good academic standing, and students need not worry about securing funding for themselves. Student are not required to identify their formal advisors until their second year, and are allowed to change their advisor if desired. Most students attend weekly group meetings with their advisors and fellow advisees. The department has three organized student support groups: the Physics Graduate Student Association (PGSA), Women in Physics, and AstroPal. All have regular meetings and organize various social events.