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Physics and Astronomy

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Admissions Requirements

Applications for admission to the M.S. or Ph.D. programs must be done electronically over the World Wide Web (click here for the link); paper applications are no longer accepted. Applications for graduate admission and assistantships are accepted mostly in the fall semester because of the structure of our core curriculum. It is only in rare instances that an applicant is admitted to begin in the spring semester.


To be admitted to graduate study in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Georgia, a student must have earned a bachelor's degree in physics, astronomy, or a related field and should have a distinguished undergraduate record. The minimum requirements for admissions are

  1. Core physics courses (2 semesters of classical mechanics, 2 semesters of E&M, 2 semesters of quantum, & 1 semester of thermodynamics) during the junior/senior undergraduate level (i.e., 3rd and 4th year). There can be an exception to this requirement (see below).
  2. Minimum GRE score (combined qunatitative + verbal) of 1050 in the old scoring system. To convert the new GRE score to the old system, use this translation table.
  3. Although we do not require a GRE subject score (i.e., GRE physics), it is recommended to submit the subject score.
  4. International applicants from non-English speaking countries need to meet the TOEFL requirement: total score of 80 or above and speaking score of 20 or above. To convert the new IELTS score to the old TOEFL scale, use this link.
  5. Although there is no formal minimum requirement on the grade point average (GPA), an average grade of 'B' or above is usually necessary to be admitted (especially on the core physics courses).

Application Package

The completed application package must include 

  1. official transcript (official academic records and certified English translations, if applicable, for international applicants) from each institution of higher education attended. For the initial review, electronic scans are OK, but to be officially admitted, official transcripts have to be submitted to the graduate school later on.
  2. three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are now done via the internet, so these will automatically be correctly directed. The essay should also be submitted online.
  3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (the GRE subject test score: not a requirement but recommended to submit.)  
  4. A brief essay: describing the applicant's background, interests, goals, aspirations, is required of all applicants.  
  5. For international students from non-English speaking countries, TOEFL score. The minimum score is 80 total (20 speaking).


The deadline for applications for the Fall semester is January 15 for international applicants and February 15 for domestic applicants. Strong early applicants are nominated for various University fellowships such as Presidential Graduate Fellowship and Graduate School Research Assistantship. The nomination deadline for the Presidential Graduate Fellowship is mid-January.

GRE (and TOEFL for international applicants) score reporting

The GRE and TOEFL scores and the transcripts should be reported to the Office of Graduate Admissions, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. For the initial review process, your uploaded test scores (GRE and TOEFL) to the UGA webpage are sufficient. However, to be officially admitted, you need to provide official test scores.

Students from foreign countries must submit additional information in order to be considered for admission. In particular, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of foreign applicants.  The Department of Physics and Astronomy does not require the Test of Spoken English (TSE) exam.  Unfortunately, because of budget constraints at the University of Georgia, we are unable to offer a waiver of the application fee; applications cannot be processed without the fee.  We will, however, process applications with unofficial test scores; final acceptance will not be possible without official scores.

Non-physics major in undergrad.

Applicants with an insufficient background in physics courses during the junior/senior years of undergrad can be admitted case-by-case. Such students, when admitted, will begin with a remedial physics courses at the 6000 level.

Teaching Assistantship

Unless an applicant specifically requests to not be considered, all applicants are considered for a Graduate Laboratory Assistantship. Some students are admitted with partial or full support as a Graduate Research Assistant, but these should be arranged for by communication with a specific faculty member since the support is from grants held by individuals or groups.  In general, all admitted students will have guaranteed support (either by TA or RA) for the first two years.

For the 2014-15 school year, applicants admitted into the Ph. D. program will be paid a bit more than $17,000 for the academic year ($1700/month for ten months) and will be guaranteed at least $2000 in summer support in the summer of 2016. Applicants admitted into the M. S. program will receive slightly lesser amount than the Ph.D. students. In addition to the stipend, tuition is waived for students with assistantships; graduate assistants pay only fees (approximately $800/semester).

Application Website

Click for the URL of the graduate program application site.