(407) 823-5146 (Graduate Program)
4111 Libra Drive, Physical Sciences Building 121, Room 430, Orlando, Florida 32816, United States of America

University of Central Florida

(407) 823-5146 (Graduate Program)
4111 Libra Drive, Physical Sciences Building 121, Room 430, Orlando, Florida 32816, United States of America


The mission of the UCF Department of Physics is to provide the highest quality education, research, outreach, and service in physics to the people of the state of Florida, the nation, and the world.

We are diverse and welcoming department, with a great sense of community. We have a few strong and very active student associations. In total, there are more than 300 student associations on campus. In addition to a large faculty, the Physics Department has more than a dozen affiliated members from several other units on campus, from optics to nanosciences, increasing the research opportunities to our students.

UCF is a growing university, with strong research programs and surrounded by high-tech industry. And Orlando is much more than its world-class touristic attractions. It is also a great place to live, close to both Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It combines the excitement of a growing and thriving metropolis with the beauty and tranquillity of the great outdoors.

If you are planning to apply to graduate school, take a closer look at UCF!

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Program Requirements

A total of 30 semester credit hours is required. The student has the option of choosing courses specialized in General Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, and Optical Physics, with either a thesis or a non-thesis option. All students must take a set of core courses. The thesis option requires additional semester hours of electives plus 6 semester hours of thesis. The non-thesis option requires electives, 3 semester hours of directed research plus a comprehensive exit exam. The Physics M.S. program includes the Bridge Program and a Planetary Science track. For more information, please visit our website, https://sciences.ucf.edu/physics/graduate/physics-program/curriculum/

Students have the option of choosing from three specializations: General Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, and Optical Physics. The Physics Ph.D. program also offers a Planetary Science track with specific core course requirements and a research-based qualifying exam. A total of 72 semester credit hours, of which 15 are required dissertation hours, are needed for the doctoral degree. The remaining 57 hours are divided into 18 hours of core courses, and a combination of specialization specific electives and research. Students are required to pass the written candidacy exam within two years of joining the program.
GRE Requirements: Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Not Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

The Department prides itself in having a diverse and collegial environment. All staff members are kind and welcoming and will do their best to meet any accommodations, and make people feel at home. The department houses a lactation room for the convenience of our campus community. All labs and offices are handicap accessible. A variety of ethnic backgrounds is present among staff, faculty, and students, allowing for an interdepartmental melting-pot culture which facilitates exchanges of ideas and experiences.

The Graduate Society of Physics Students (GSPS) and the Women in Physics Society (WiPS), both well-established student organizations, are seeking new members. Both organizations meet regularly and hold social events, as well as assist in graduate affairs. The Physics department hosts weekly seminars and a colloquium. The Science Cafe held during the academic year has led to the introduction of such activities to the greater Orlando Community. Students and faculty are engaged in a number of other outreach activities, some of which are specifically meant for K-12 students and faculty and are co-funded through the Florida Hightech Corridor Council. A PhysTEC grant enabled the department to work more closely with the local K-12 system and help train physics educators. Recently the department became an APS Bridge Program site, helping it to further increase diversity in the graduate program. These and other activities help create a vibrant environment for research and education, while introducing the younger generation to scientific fields of study.