801 Leroy Place, Workman Center, Socorro, New Mexico 87801, United States of America

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

801 Leroy Place, Workman Center, Socorro, New Mexico 87801, United States of America


Physicists ask the most fundamental questions about science. Why are we here? What are we made of? What happens if I run 100,000 Amps through a gas or have a magnetic field with more energy per volume than TNT?

Our department is internationally competitive in two areas, Atmospheric Physics and Astrophysics.

On the atmospheric side the department is particularly strong in both experimental research and computational modeling. Tech has long been home to the Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, a unique mountaintop facility to enable the experimental study of atmospheric phenomena. In addition to a unique combination of instruments like the lightning mapping array, field-change networks, X-ray instrumentation, and a lightning interferometer, Langmuir is now the only active rocket-triggering facility in the US. Furthermore, it has ballooning facilities in support of all kinds of work in the lower and upper atmosphere. Additionally, we house the newly established Climate and Water Consortium at New Mexico Tech, which is an interdisciplinary center focused on tropical storms and hurricanes, weather prediction, climate change, and water management.

Our Astrophysics program benefits from the presence of National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) on campus and all the astronomers it draws here. The NRAO has one of its major campuses at NMT, and facilitates research using the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescopes. Our students frequently have research advisors at NRAO and can have offices there too. Its a great environment for networking because their circle of contacts is much larger than our department. Beyond NRAO, we are involved in the development of novel astrophysics observation facilities, such as the Magdalena Ridge Optical Interferometer (MRO) and the near-infrared multi-object exoplanet transit spectrometer (NESSI).

Being a research-intensive department located in a small town, our motto is: “Get lost in your research, not in a crowd.” Our NMT Physics grads have gone on to postdocs at universities, jobs in industry and national labs, and prize fellowships in the U.S. and abroad.

Program Requirements

With thesis: 24 hours of coursework plus six hours of thesis work; without thesis: 27 hours of coursework plus three hours of independent study, including a paper. Minimum GPA: 3.0, no grade less than C. Students should be in residence a minimum of 18 hours. There is no language requirement. Physics preliminary examination is required. Thesis topic is chosen after consultation with student's advisory committee.

Fifty hours of coursework minimum beyond the B.A. is required. Minimum GPA is 3.0/4.0. Students should be in residence a minimum of three semester hours; degree in absentia may be granted by petition. There is no foreign language requirement. Physics preliminary examination is required. Dissertation, oral defense, and paper submitted for publication to a recognized journal are also required.
GRE Requirements: Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Not Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

We are a small cohesive department in a rural setting in New Mexico. Our department has two major areas of strength: Atmospheric Physics and Astrophysics. We invite you to learn more about us on the web at https://www.nmt.edu/academics/physics/.