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, 2022. 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 12, 2022 by 1:00pm Pacific Time and Applied Physics application by December 15, 2022. The general and subject GREs are optional but recommended for both the Ph.D. and master's programs. Applicants may submit scores, but they are not required. The decision on whether to submit GRE scores is completely up to the applicant. The admissions committee will make evaluations based only on the information provided. Adverse inferences will not be drawn from an applicant’s choosing not to submit GRE scores.

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.