Office: 348 Via Pueblo Mall - Applied Physics Room 116-118
Mail Code: 94305-4090
Phone: (650) 723-4027
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 14, 2021. M.S. and PhD. 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 6, 2021 by 1:00pm Pacific Time and Applied Physics application by December 14, 2021. The general and subject GREs are optional for both the Ph.D. and master's programs. Applicants may submit scores, but they are not required.

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 4, 2021) for Autumn 2021 matriculation and at least four weeks before the last day of class in the previous quarter for Winter or Spring matriculation (November 3, 2021 for Winter matriculation, February 11, 2022 for Spring matriculation, and June 1, 2022 for Autumn 2022 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.

Learning Outcomes (Graduate)

The purpose of the master's program is to further develop knowledge and skills in Applied Physics and to prepare students for a professional career or doctoral studies. This is achieved through completion of courses, in the primary field as well as related areas, and experience with independent work and specialization.

The Ph.D. is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research and analysis in Applied Physics. Through completion of advanced course work and rigorous skills training, the doctoral program prepares students to make original contributions to the knowledge of Applied Physics and to interpret and present the results of such research.


Emeriti: (Professors) Malcolm R. Beasley, Arthur Bienenstock, Steven M. Block, Sebastian Doniach, Alexander L. Fetter, Theodore H. Geballe, Stephen E. Harris, Walter A. Harrison, Peter A. Sturrock, Yoshihisa Yamamoto; (Professors, Research) Helmut Wiedemann, Herman Winick; (Courtesy) Douglas D. Osheroff

Chair: Martin M. Fejer

Chair of Graduate Studies Committee: Philip H. Bucksbaum

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

Associate Professors: Benjamin L. Lev, David A. Reis, Amir H. Safavi-Naeini, Mark J. Schnitzer

Assistant Professors: Surya Ganguli, Benjamin Good

Professor (Research): Michel J-F. Digonnet

Courtesy Professors: Mark L. Brongersma, Bruce M. Clemens, Shanhui Fan, David Goldhaber-Gordon, James S. Harris, Lambertus Hesselink, David A. B. Miller, W. E. Moerner, Jelena Vuckovic

Courtesy Associate Professors: Willliam J. Greenleaf, Zhirong Huang, Andrew J. Spakowitz

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

Graduate Advising Expectations

The Department of Applied Physics is committed to providing academic advising in support of graduate student scholarly and professional development. When most effective, this advising relationship entails collaborative and sustained engagement by both the advisor and the advisee. As a best practice, advising expectations should be periodically discussed and reviewed to ensure mutual understanding. Both the advisor and the advisee are expected to maintain professionalism and integrity.

In addition, the Faculty Candidacy Chair, Professor Philip Bucksbaum, is available for consultation during the academic year by email and during office hours. The Applied Physics student services office is also an important part of the advising team. Staff in the office inform students and advisors about University and department requirements, procedures, and opportunities, and maintain the official records of advising assignments and approvals. 

Faculty advisors guide students in key areas such as selecting courses, designing and conducting research, developing of teaching pedagogy, navigating policies and degree requirements, and exploring academic opportunities and professional pathways.

Graduate students are active contributors to the advising relationship, proactively seeking academic and professional guidance and taking responsibility for informing themselves of policies and degree requirements for their graduate program.

For a statement of University policy on graduate advising, see the "Graduate Advising" section of this bulletin.

Master of Science Advising

At the start of graduate study, each student is assigned a master’s program advisor: a member of our faculty who provides guidance in course selection, course planning, and in exploring short and long term academic opportunities and professional pathways. The program advisor serves as the first resource for consultation and advice about a student's academic program. Usually, the same faculty member serves as program advisor for the duration of master’s study. In rare instances, a formal advisor change request may be considered. See the Applied Physics student services office for additional information on this process.

Ph.D. Advising

Academic advisors are assigned to incoming first year students by the graduate study committee based on their interest of studies. Faculty academic advisors guide students in key areas such as selecting courses, designing and conducting research, developing of teaching pedagogy, navigating policies and degree requirements, and exploring academic opportunities and professional pathways. Each individual program, designed by the student in consultation with the academic advisor, should represent a strong and cohesive program reflecting the student's major field of interest. Based on the research interest, students and research advisors mutually agree to work on the research together and establish a collaborative relationship. When the research advisor is from outside the Applied Physics department, the student must also identify a co-advisor from departmental primary faculty to provide guidance on departmental requirements and opportunities.