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Research Areas

Purdue's physics department is a recognized world leader in many areas of theoretical and experimental research. Forefront research in physics, cutting across several disciplines are being carried out by high quality, motivated graduate students and world renowned, dedicated faculty in the department. Our goal has been and remains to attract the very best. Our present and future students will support the active research that is being carried out in the following areas:

The Physics Department also offers students an opportunity to specialize in the Computational Science and Engineering Program or in the PULSe Program.

The Purdue Physics Department offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. The detailed requirements for each degree may be found in the graduate student manual (pdf).

Financial Support

Almost all graduate students in physics are supported financially by an assistantship or a fellowship throughout their courses of study. The most common form of support for the incoming graduate students is a half-time teaching assistantship that entails 20 hours per week of work in assisting the faculty in teaching, typically including about 8 hours of contact teaching such as recitation classes or laboratories.

Summary of Ph.D. Program

The first year of your program focuses on the satisfactory completion of the Core courses. You must also pass a Qualifying Examination that reviews undergraduate Physics and ensures an appropriate level of understanding of basic Physics necessary to be successful in the Ph.D. program. In addition to coursework, students are expected to focus their scientific interests by seeking out and developing a relationship with one of the research groups within the department. This is the starting point for the research that will lead to your Ph.D. thesis.

Summary of M.S. Program

While the Master of Science degree is offered under thesis and non-thesis options, most students who receive the degree elect the non-thesis option. Non-thesis MS option requirements include 24 credits of graduate-level physics courses and 6 credits of graduate-level math courses as well as passing the Qualifying Examination at the Master's level. Most graduate students who enter the Physics Department do so seeking the Ph.D. degree and obtain the M.S. degree along the way to the completion of the doctoral program.

Annual Poster & Pizza Event for Graduate Students

[ Photo Gallery ] Graduate students and Faculty present their research at the annual event (held on November 13, 2007). The event is held to give the faculty (and graduate students) to showcase their research to other members in the Physics Department. This allows an exchange of ideas and questions among students and faculty, thus creating an informal opportunity for interaction necessary to enhance the quality of research in the Department.


Questions specifically concerning the physics graduate program may be directed to:
Ms. Sandy Formica
Graduate Secretary, Department of Physics
525 Northwestern Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2306
Telephone: +1 (765) 494-3099
Fax: +1 (765) 494-0706