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Ph.D. in Physics

The University's Physics Ph.D. program instills experience with modern research methods, a broad knowledge of contemporary physics and the ability to conduct high-level independent research.

Program at a glance

Admissions cycles: Fall
Application deadlines: March 1
Assistantship types available: Teaching, Research
Graduate director: Jonathan Weinstein

Why choose this Ph.D. in physics?

The Department of Physics conducts theoretical and experimental research across range of fields. Research occurs in state-of-the-art University facilities and through scientific collaborations at research centers around the nation.

Its research specialties include:

  • Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
  • Plasma physics
  • High energy density physics
  • Atmospheric physics
  • Elementary particle physics
  • Gravitational physics

The University of Nevada, Reno has a long history with physics. It began offering coursework in physics in 1887, and the Physics Department became a formal academic unit in 1907. The Ph.D. program in physics appeared in 1961.

Today, the department is one of the leaders in external grant funding at the University. To learn more about its work, visit the Department of Physics research and specialties page.  

How do I apply?

All applicants must the University Graduate School's admission requirements and possess a Master of Science in Physics (though this requirement may be waived in exceptional cases). Applicants must complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and are strongly encouraged to complete the advanced physics portion.

The deadline for completed applications is March 1. The deadline for spring applications is Nov. 1, though the department discourages applications for spring under ordinary circumstances.

To become a Ph.D. candidate, the student must have completed at least 75 percent of the nonelective, nondissertation program coursework, and have passed a comprehensive examination on graduate-level material in physics.

Applicants whose records indicate a deficiency in any of the requirements may be admitted on a probationary basis and may be required to take certain undergraduate courses (which do not carry graduate credit). For more on the program, download the physics graduate information packet.

Is funding available?

Any graduate student who is enrolled in at least six graduate level credits and holds at least a 3.0 GPA will be considered for an assistantship. Teaching assistants typically teach undergraduate laboratory sections or grade assignments and exams. Research assistants work in specific research programs.

For more on these positions, see the department page on physics graduate assistantships.

What's next?

You can learn more about the physics Ph.D. program by contacting the graduate director below. To begin your journey at the University, you can apply now.

Jonathan Weinstein, Ph.D.
Phone: (775) 784-6821
Fax: (775) 784-1398
Office: Leifson Physics 211

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Contact College of Science

Phone (775) 784-4591
Fax (775) 784-4592
Location Davidson Math and Science Center

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