College of Arts & Sciences Physics

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Admission into our graduate program is gained by application to the Graduate SchoolIf you are an international student, please see the Graduate School International Admissions information.

M.S. Program of Study

Ph.D. Program of Study

Ph.D. candidates are required to pass qualifying exams and complete an original dissertation.


While degree candidates may pursue specialized research foci based on the research expertise of individual faculty members, the most significant goal of the program is to focus on research areas germane to the needs and special resources of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF). Examples of specialized research areas connected to SURF include:

  • Nuclear/particle physics and particle astrophysics involving next-generation neutrino detection.
  • Double beta-decay.
  • Dark matter searches.
  • Gravitational wave detection experiments.
  • Condensed matter physics concentrating on novel low background radiation materials and devices.
  • Graduate students present the results of their research at professional meetings.

Financial Support

Graduate assistantships are available ($18,000-$30,000) on a competitive basis. Applications for assistantships are available from the Department of Physics. All Ph.D. students are required to serve as teaching assistants for a minimum of two semesters, although teaching opportunities may be available to MS students also.  Awarding of teaching assistantships is based on:

  • Availability
  • Potential for success in graduate school
  • Ability to communicate well in oral/written English
  • Satisfactory performance in course work

ContactUs  For questions regarding admission into our graduate programs
Yongchen Sun, Associate Professor
(605) 677-5063