About

Our department is known for the global impact our students, faculty and alumni make with their research and cutting-edge international collaboration. We have ample hands-on research opportunities for all of our students.

The University of South Carolina is the state's premier research university and is centrally located in Columbia, the state's capital and largest city. As such, Columbia offers a wealth of cultural, intellectual, and recreational opportunities. Residents enjoy a nationally ranked zoo and botanical garden, an award-winning library system, two major arts and entertainment districts, and a cultural scene replete with a world-class art museum, six professional dance companies, and three professional theaters. Columbia consistently ranks among the most livable and affordable mid-sized cities and is also conveniently located close to the mountains and the beach.

Program Requirements

Master's:
The requirements for the Master of Science degree include 30 semester hours of course work, a thesis, and an oral comprehensive examination.

Doctorate:
The requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy include 60 semester hours of advanced course work (or 30 semester hours beyond the Master's), a written examination for admission to candidacy, a written and oral research proposal/comprehensive exam, and a dissertation. Two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment for residency are also required.
GRE Requirements: Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Not Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

The USC Department of Physics and Astronomy is known for the global impact our students, faculty, and alumni make with their research and cutting-edge international collaborations. We have ample hands-on research opportunities for all of our students.

In addition to the department's weekly colloquium series, several public lectures are held throughout the year with speakers including Nobel Laureates, chief scientists, and best-selling authors. These lectures are presented at a level designed for a general audience and feature both popular and recent topics in physics and astronomy.