NAU Box 6053, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011-6010, United States of America

Northern Arizona University

NAU Box 6053, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011-6010, United States of America


We offer multiple degree paths including a bachelor’s degree in Physics, a bachelor’s degree in Physics and Astronomy (merged major), a master’s degree in Applied Physics, and a doctoral degree in Applied Physics and Materials Science.

The Northern Arizona University Applied Physics and Materials Science program will create the scientists of the future by shedding traditional boundaries and embracing the intrinsic diverse strengths of Arizona and the United States. The APMS program is built upon an opportunity to bring science and physics back to materials science, and vice versa, and for NAU to position itself with a program of 2050, not 1950, to serve the future needs of the current student!

Focal areas of research in the Applied Physics and Materials Science department:
- exploration and applications of inorganic or hard nanomaterials
- exploration and applications of soft matter nanomaterials
- modeling of molecular and quantum behavior for materials design
- design and synthesis of photonic materials
- development of characterization methods to understand the mechanical and optical properties of materials
- utilization of optical approaches to manipulate materials

Program Requirements

A predissertation committee, consisting of the faculty advisor, three faculty within the program and one external faculty member in the student’s area of emphasis will be formed. The examination consists of a written proposal and oral defense of the proposal.

Other degrees:
The examination consists of a written dissertation, per all requirements of the institution, and oral defense of the thesis to the student’s dissertation committee. The student then defends that dissertation to their committee. The outcomes of this exam will be a Pass or Fail, with ¾ consent of the committee needed for a Pass. Students that do not achieve a Pass on this exam may elect to re-take the exam within a six-month period from their first attempt.
GRE Requirements: Not Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Not Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

APMS actively supports and pursues internships and opportunities for students with industry, national labs and academic partners.

APMS and academic programs are designed for 2050, not 1950. Our goal is to prepare students for jobs of now and the future!

APMS is more than a department, it is a "Team" and graduate students are active, vital team members and the bedrock of research activity within APMS.

Graduate students serve as hosts for colloquia speakers and are encouraged to actively grow their networks during their tenure at NAU and provided opportunities to expand their networks.

The APMS faculty is composed of several former national lab and industry scientists capable of providing "real-world" experience and connections.

Located in Flagstaff, AZ, the gateway to the Grand Canyon and on the Colorado Plateau, APMS graduate students are encouraged to explore the four-season adventures of northern Arizona and foster communities with fellow APMS students.

A graduate representative committee meets monthly with the Department Chair to engage in two-way discussions to advance the APMS program. An active SPS group also pursues internal and external programs creating continuity between undergraduate and graduate students. Field trips such as recent visits to Los Alamos National Lab and research internships at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, a DOE Nanoscience User Facility are hallmarks of APMS programming.