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Graduate Admissions

The selection of the Ph.D. students admitted to the Department of Physics is based on an individualized, holistic review of each application, including (but not limited to) the student's academic record, the letters of recommendation, the scores on both the General GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and the GRE Subject test in Physics, the statement of purpose, personal qualities and characteristics, as well as past accomplishments and potential to succeed in the Stanford program. Every year we receive approximately 600+ applications and offer admission to approximately 60 students. Applications must be submitted by the middle of December to be considered for the following Autumn Quarter. In January and February of each year, the Physics Department Graduate Admission Committee reviews each application. All applicants will be notified of their admission status by March 1.
 
The Department does not offer a separate program for the M.S. degree, but this degree may be awarded for a portion of the Ph.D. degree work with approval from the Department.
 
Graduate students have opportunities for research in theoretical physics, low temperature physics, molecular physics, high energy physics, spectroscopy, atomic and quantum electronics, cosmology, astrophysics, and gravitation, and condensed matter physics. Opportunities for research are also available with the faculty at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in the areas of theoretical and experimental particle physics, cosmology and astrophysics, accelerator design, and photon science. In Applied Physics there are opportunities in the areas of theoretical and experimental condensed matter physics, materials research, quantum electronics, and novel imaging technology.
 
 
For additional information about graduate admissions at Stanford, go to: http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions
 
The application deadline for  the 2019-20 academic year is 11:59pm, PACIFIC STANDARD TIME on TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2018.  The application submission deadline is a hard deadline and no late applications are accepted, no exceptions.  We strongly suggest you do not wait until the last day to submit in case you encounter any difficulties.
 
Please make every effort to submit all additional required application materials listed below in a timely manner.
 
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably including one from a research group.
  • Your GRE Scores (General and Physics Subject are both required).  If you take the GRE in November, your application will be processed after the scores are sent electronically to Stanford. 
  • General GRE Test Dates
  • Subject GRE Test Dates
  • TOEFL - required for applicants whose first language is not English. It must be taken within the last 18 months. The TOEFL is waived for applicants who have recently completed or will complete a Bachelor's degree, or a 2-year Master's program, in the U.S. or in another English-speaking country.  See the Graduate Admissions GRE/TOEFL FAQ for detailed information.
  • You must upload one scanned version of your official transcript(s) in the online application (see File Upload Requirements)
  • For each postsecondary institution you have attended as a full-time student for one year (i.e. three quarters or two semesters) or longer, you must arrange for two (2) official paper copies of transcripts (academic records) to be mailed to the address below. If your college/university provides secure electronic transcript delivery, instruct your school to send the secure electronic certified transcript to phys-admissions@lists.stanford.edu.  Please note that the secure electronic certified transcript must be printable.  Check with the registrar's office of your college/university to see if they provide a printable electronic certified transcript service.  If your university does not provide electronic transcripts that meet our requirements you must arrange for your official transcripts to be mailed.

We encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds to apply to our program. We recognize that there are many different aspects to identity, including culture, socioeconomic and educational background, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, life experiences, hobbies, and interests. Providing this information in the application assists the admissions committee in its goal of creating a diverse class. 

The department is interested in understanding and mitigating barriers to access to all of our programs, including barriers based on citizenship status, accessibility, or financial or logistical challenges.  If you are interested in our graduate program but there are barriers that limit your ability to apply given our current procedures, we would appreciate hearing from you.  Please fill out this brief form.

MAILING ADDRESS FOR TRANSCRIPTS

 
Physics Graduate Admissions
Varian Physics Building
382 Via Pueblo Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-4060
 
Note:  Stanford University and the Physics department are closed for the last 2 weeks of December.  Mail that does not arrive before the winter closure will not be delivered or signed for until January (so there is no need for express mail or overnight services).
 
We do not use the checklist functionality in the application system and request that you do not contact our office and ask us to confirm that your file is complete.  If you are missing any necessary materials we will contact you via email in early January or February.
 

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS

 
For other questions about the process, please contact: