About

Ranked among the top 20 in the nation by the prestigious National Research Council, the Graduate Studies Program in the Department of Physics is the perfect next step in your academic career.

The University of Colorado at Boulder Department of Physics offers award-winning programs, well-established and knowledgeable faculty, and an unmatched educational experience. We are ranked among the top ten physics departments at public universities and among top 20 universities overall for graduate-level physics programs by the National Research Council. Our faculty includes multiple Nobel laureates, Packard Fellows, MacArthur Fellows and Presidential Early Career Award winners.

Our graduate students enjoy a rich history of academic accomplishments, and benefit from the relationship that the University of Colorado has forged with public research institutions in the Boulder area. Students can take part in fascinating and important research while earning a valuable degree.

Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the University of Colorado at Boulder campus offers unequalled opportunity for personal and professional development. We are located within 30 miles of breathtaking vistas, summer and winter recreation, metropolitan areas and other hidden gems adorning the Front Range of Colorado. Called America's smartest city by TIME magazine, Boulder offers our students an enriching and engaging atmosphere.

Program Requirements

Master's:
We do not generally admit students intending to just pursue a Masters degree. Graduate students are admitted directly into the Ph.D. program and generally obtain a Masters degree en route to the Ph.D.

Doctorate:
Students must complete five of the six required Comps I courses with a "B-" or better. Five additional graduate courses are needed to complete the 30 hours of required coursework of which at least 27 must be physics courses. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. All students are required to take the Comps II examination. When students are ready, they take a Comps III examination and are admitted into candidacy. They then write a doctoral thesis that they must defend. Students have six years to complete their doctorate, although this limit may be extended.
GRE Requirements: Not Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Not Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

The University of Colorado Boulder Department of Physics offers award-winning programs, well-established and knowledgeable faculty, and an unmatched educational experience. We are ranked among the top ten physics departments at public universities and among top 20 universities overall for graduate-level physics programs by the National Research Council. The atomic, molecular, and optics subfield is ranked #1 by US News and World Report. Our 53 tenured and tenure-track faculty includes multiple Nobel laureates, Packard Fellows, MacArthur Fellows, and Presidential Early Career Award winners. Our leading research institutes include JILA and LASP and there are several national laboratories in the area including NIST, NREL, NCAR, NOAA, and NSO, all of which are available for pursuing research. This results in a broad range of research opportunities.

The department is dedicated to providing an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone. Weekly colloquia with cookies and monthly gatherings with beer and pizza provide chances for faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and staff to interact. Yearly picnics and holiday parties also contribute to a sense of community.

Graduate students are involved in other activities as well. CUPrime is a student-led, diversity-focused, and community-oriented organization that provides mentoring and research experience for undergraduates. PISEC is a JILA program that delivers outreach to elementary schools.

Boulder provides a wonderful place to live, with its natural beauty, highly educated citizens, and wide range of outdoor activities.