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APLPH-MS - Applied Physics (MS)

Applied Physics Applied Physics MS - Master of Science

Program Overview

The Department of Applied Physics offers qualified students with backgrounds in physics or engineering the opportunity to do graduate coursework 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.

Faculty members and 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 engaged in related research fields supervise student research.

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 PhD programs should be received by December 15, 2023. MS and PhD students usually 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 p.m. Pacific Time and their Applied Physics application by December 1, 2023. 

The Physics subject GRE is recommended for the PhD and Master’s programs. Applicants are encouraged to submit scores, but they are not required. The subject GRE score can assist the admissions committee in developing a complete evaluation of the applicant. This is especially helpful for students who apply to our program from less traditional backgrounds or whose academic records do not fully show their academic strengths. The committee is quite aware 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 is optional and less important in admissions evaluations than the subject exam. The decision to submit GRE scores is entirely up to the applicant. 

Graduate Programs in Applied Physics

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

  • A Doctor of Philosophy

  • A coterminal Master of Science in Applied and Engineering Physics

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

Admissions Information

Admission requirements for graduate work in the Master of Science and PhD 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 MS and PhD degrees in Applied Physics.