Applying to the Physics Graduate Program

Apply online, here. Please read this entire site before applying. The admissions committee will evaluate completed applications beginning in February and until the program is filled for the upcoming fall semester. All completed applications received by February 15 will receive full consideration. The physics department ordinarily admits students to its graduate program to start in the fall of a given year. Only in exceptional circumstances are students admitted to start at other times.

COMPLETE APPLICATION: An applicant’s folder will not be evaluated until complete. A completed folder contains:

  • transcripts, which preferably arrive by mail;
  • any GRE and TOEFL scores, which preferably arrive directly from ETS;
  • three letters of recommendation, which the reviewers put into the university’s online system;
  • a statement of purpose and a curriculum vitae, which the applicant uploads into the university’s online system;
  • an application form, created from the applicant’s responses to the sections of the university’s online system.

The Physics Department has two degree programs: a master’s program and a doctoral program. An applicant should apply to the master’s program only if the intent is to receive a terminal master’s degree. Most master’s program students do not receive stipend support from the department.

PhD Program

Apply online. The department may offer full tuition plus stipend support to our PhD program’s students. Generally, the stipend support is in the form of teaching assistantships for first-year students. Some fellowships are also available. By making the appropriate selections online, please indicate whether or not you are requesting financial assistance from the physics department.

MS (Terminal) Program

Apply online. Because students in the master’s program generally do not receive assistantships, only apply to the master’s program if the intent is not to continue toward a doctorate.

Medical Physics

Opportunities exist for physics program students to specialize in medical physics by taking coursework and performing research in medically related fields, often in collaboration with the medical school. However the Masters of Science in Medical Physics is a professional, accredited degree obtained through the Radiation Oncology Department of the College of Medicine. Details can be found at here.

4+1 Program

Application to this program is through undergraduate admissions. (admissions.uc.edu)

Application Fee

A fee is required for the online application. The Physics Department will not be able to view your application until the fee is paid. This fee cannot be waived. 

Uploaded Documents

Statement of purpose: This is a letter stating your wish to join our program. Introduce yourself through the letter and explain the University of Cincinnati Physics Department’s role in furthering your career goals. Best statements are concise and true to the author.
Curriculum vitae: The CV should contain information about education achievements and, if applicable, research and teaching.

  • EDUCATION: List prior education institutions with dates of attendance, major or educational emphasis, title of degree awarded, language of instruction, grade point average, and any awards, scholarships or other honors received.
  • RESEARCH: Summarize any research activities with which you have been associated. List any publications or presentations.
  • TEACHING: Summarize any significant teaching/tutoring experience. If appropriate, include level of students taught, type of instruction provided (lab, lecture, tutoring), textbook and software.
  • OTHER: Add other professional sections as appropriate to your background.

Supplementary Information

Send official undergraduate and graduate transcripts to:

The Graduate School
University of Cincinnati
PO Box 210627
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0627

For parcel delivery use:

The Graduate School
University of Cincinnati
2614 McMicken Circle
110 Van Wormer Hall
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0627


A student must have a bachelor's degree from a college or university regarded as standard by a regional or general accrediting agency. The applicant’s transcript should give evidence of promise that is satisfactory to the Physics Department.

If your university has electronic access or other unique processes for obtaining transcripts, email physics.grad@uc.edu with the subject line “transcripts” containing the pertinent details. A student must have a bachelor's degree from a college or university regarded as standard by a regional or general accrediting agency. The applicant’s transcript should give evidence of promise that is satisfactory to the Physics Department.

Proof of English Proficiency: All foreign nationals must submit proof. The preference is to have TOEFL IBT scores sent directly by ETS to the Physics Department. The minimum acceptable score is 68. (The ETS institution code is 1833 for the University of Cincinnati. The department’s TOEFL code is 76.) Details for alternatives to the TOEFL IBT can be found here. If you did not request that TOEFL IBT scores be sent directly to the Department before submitting your application, you will be sent an email requesting proof of English proficiency, detailing alternatives and less costly reporting methods.

GRE scores: The General GRE is required. The Physics GRE is recommended, especially for international applicants. The preference is to have ETS send the scores directly to the Department. (The ETS institution code is 1833 for the University of Cincinnati. The department’s GRE code is 0808.) Applicants without GRE subject scores must provide other evidence of outstanding achievement and promise.

If you need to communicate with us by mail, address your correspondence to:

Graduate Coordinator
Department of Physics
University of Cincinnati
PO Box 210011
Cincinnati OH  45221-0011

For parcel delivery use:

Department of Physics
University of Cincinnati
400 Geology/Physics Building
345 Clifton Ct.
Cincinnati OH 45221-0011