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Office: 348 Via Pueblo Mall - Applied Physics Room 116-118
Mail Code: 94305-4090
Phone: (650) 723-4028
Web Site:

Courses offered by the Department of Applied Physics are listed under the subject code APPPHYS on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

The Department of Applied Physics offers qualified students with backgrounds in physics or engineering the opportunity to do graduate course work and research in the physics relevant to technical applications and natural phenomena. These areas include accelerator physics, biophysics, condensed matter physics, nanostructured materials, quantum electronics and photonics, quantum optics and quantum information, space science and astrophysics, synchrotron radiation and applications.

Student research is supervised by the faculty members and also by various members of other departments such as Biology, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and faculty of the Medical School who are engaged in related research fields.

Research activities are carried out in laboratories including the Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials (GLAM), the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory (GINZTON),  the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory (HEPL), the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the Center for Probing the Nanoscale, and the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science (SIMES).

The number of graduate students admitted to Applied Physics is limited. Applications to the Master of Science and Ph.D. programs should be received by December 15, 2023. M.S. and Ph.D. students normally enter the department the following Autumn Quarter. Joint applicants for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program must submit their Knight-Hennessy Scholars application by October 11, 2023 by 1:00pm Pacific Time and Applied Physics application by December 1, 2023.

The Physics subject GRE exam is recommended for the Ph.D. and Master's programs. Applicants are encouraged to submit scores, but they are not required. The subject GRE score can assist the admissions committee develop a more complete evaluation of the applicant. This is especially helpful for students who apply to our program from less traditional backgrounds or for students whose academic records do not fully show off their academic strengths. The committee is quite cognizant of the limitations of the exam and does not give it weight beyond the complementary information it adds to the existing strengths in the application material. The general GRE exam is optional and has less weight in admissions evaluations compared to the subject exam. The decision on whether to submit GRE scores is completely up to the applicant. 

Stanford undergraduates, regardless of undergraduate major, who are interested in a M.S. degree at the intersection of applied physics and engineering may choose to apply for the coterminal Master of Science program in Applied and Engineering Physics. The program is designed to be completed in the fifth year at Stanford. Students with accelerated undergraduate programs may be able to complete their B.S. and coterminal M.S. in four years.

Undergraduates must be admitted to the program and enrolled as a graduate student for at least one quarter prior to B.S. conferral. Applications are due on the last day of class of the Spring Quarter (June 7, 2023) for Autumn 2023 matriculation and at least four weeks before the last day of class in the previous quarter for Winter or Spring matriculation (November 1, 2023 for Winter matriculation, February 8, 2024 for Spring matriculation, and June 5, 2024 for Autumn 2024 matriculation). All application materials must be submitted directly to the Applied Physics department office by the deadlines. To apply for admission to the Applied and Engineering Physics coterminal M.S. program, students must submit the coterminal application which consists of the following:

Graduate Programs in Applied Physics

The Department of Applied Physics offers three types of advanced degrees:

  •     the Doctor of Philosophy

  •     the coterminal Master of Science in Applied and Engineering Physics

  •     the Master of Science in Applied Physics, either as a terminal degree or an en route degree to the Ph.D. for students already enrolled in the Applied Physics Ph.D. program.

Admission requirements for graduate work in the Master of Science and Ph.D. programs in Applied Physics include a bachelor's degree in Physics or an equivalent engineering degree. Students entering the program from an engineering curriculum should expect to spend at least an additional quarter of study acquiring the background to meet the requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Physics.


Emeriti: (Professors) Malcolm R. Beasley, Arthur Bienenstock, Steven M. Block, Robert L. Byer (recalled to active service), Sebastian Doniach, Alexander L. Fetter, Stephen E. Harris, Walter A. Harrison, Peter A. Sturrock, Yoshihisa Yamamoto; (Professors, Research) Herman Winick; (Courtesy) James S. Harris

Chair: Ian R. Fisher

Chair of Graduate Studies Committee: Aharon Kapitulnik

Professors: Philip H. Bucksbaum, Martin M. Fejer, Daniel S. Fisher, Ian R. Fisher, Tony F. Heinz, Harold Y. Hwang, Aharon Kapitulnik, Mark A. Kasevich, Young S. Lee, Benjamin L. Lev, Hideo Mabuchi, Kathryn A. Moler, Vahé Petrosian, Stephen R. Quake, David A. Reis, Mark J. Schnitzer, Zhi-Xun Shen, Yuri Suzuki

Associate Professors: Surya Ganguli, Amir H. Safavi-Naeini, David Schuster, Jon Simon

Assistant Professors: Benjamin Good

Professor (Research): Michel J-F. Digonnet

Courtesy Professors: Mark L. Brongersma, Shanhui Fan, David Goldhaber-Gordon, William J. Greenleaf, Lambertus Hesselink, Zhirong Huang, Vedika Khemani, Matthias F. Kling, David A. B. Miller, W. E. Moerner, Eric Pop, Andrew J. Spakowitz, Jelena Vuckovic

Adjunct Professors: Thomas M. Baer, John D. Fox, Richard M. Martin