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Prospective Ph.D. Students

Graduate Application

Interested students must apply on-line through the central web site of Rackham Graduate School.

Information can be found under the links below. For additional information, please contact the physics graduate program at

Application Details

In addition to the online application form, a complete application includes the following elements:

  • Statement of purpose: What are your goals for graduate school and your future career? What are your research interests, and how have your educational, research and/or professional experiences prepared you for pursuing a PhD in Physics?
  • Personal Statement: How have your background and life experiences, including, cultural, geographical, financial, educational, citizenship status or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? (500 word limit) 
  • CV
  • Test scores: GRE general, GRE physics (recommended), and English-language proficiency score (if applicable)
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Transcript from undergraduate university. Mail to:
         Rackham Graduate School Admissions
         Attn: Transcripts
         915 E. Washington Street
         Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
  • Application fee

The application deadline is December 15, 2017. (Midnight EST). The online application system will be disabled at the deadline.

The preliminary review of applications will be initiated shortly after the deadline. All supporting materials must be received by January 6, 2018.

Please note the following: We do not accept updated transcripts with Fall grades or supporting documentation that has not been submitted through the application system. 

Admissions Requirements

Prospective students are encouraged to contact faculty members directly in order to learn more about specific research groups. However, admission decisions are made solely by our admission committee.

The minimum requirements for admission are:

  1. A bachelor's degree in physics or a related discipline.
  2. The GRE general test (the additional physics subject test is strongly recommended)
  3. For non-native English speakers: proof of English proficiency, eg. A ToEFL test.

1. Undergraduate Degree Requirement

No minimum undergraduate GPA is required, nor do we impose any specific course requirements.

The necessary grounding for the program is the equivalent of a full undergraduate physics major. This typically involves solid intermediate-level courses in classical mechanics, electromagnetism, thermal and statistical physics, and quantum physics as well as some study of applications in the context of modern physics. Research experience is not a requirement, but it is an asset.

The Rackham Graduate School generally insists on undergraduate degrees of at least four years nominal study. However, the Physics department will request exceptions for students with equivalent preparation.

2 GRE  

We have no minimum requirements for scores on these standardized tests, but scores are considered along with all the other aspects of the application. 

The ETS code is 1839.

3. Language Requirement

Applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree from an institution where the medium of instruction is English are exempt from submitting a language test.

For students with no exemption we require a minimum ToEFL score of 90.