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Admissions Requirements

Applications for admission to the M.S. or Ph.D. programs must be done electronically through the Graduate School's application portal (click here for the link). Applications for graduate admission and assistantships are accepted mostly in the fall semester because of the structure of our core curriculum. It is only in rare instances that an applicant is admitted to begin in the spring semester.

Graduate Students work in the laboratory with equipment used for nanoscale imaging & spectroscopy.

Graduate Students work in the laboratory with equipment used for nanoscale imaging & spectroscopy.


To be admitted to graduate study in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Georgia, a student must have earned a bachelor's degree in physics, astronomy, or a related field and should have a distinguished undergraduate record. The minimum requirements for admissions are

  1. Core physics courses (2 semesters of classical mechanics, 2 semesters of E&M, 2 semesters of quantum, & 1 semester of thermodynamics) during the junior/senior undergraduate level (i.e., 3rd and 4th year). There can be an exception to this requirement (see below).
  2. General GRE score is not required. Although we do not require a GRE subject score (i.e., GRE physics), it is recommended to submit the subject score.
  3. International applicants from non-English speaking countries need to meet the (English) language proficiency requirement: Minimum TOEFL score requirement: overall score of 80 with at least 20 on speaking and writing; or Minimum IELTS score requirement: overall band-width of 6.5, with no single band (score) below 6.0. Note that for those who require teaching assistantships, there are additional language proficiency requirements.
  4. Although there is no formal minimum requirement on the grade point average (GPA), an average grade of 'B' or above is usually necessary to be admitted (especially on the core physics courses).

Application Package

The completed application package must include:

  1. Official transcript (official academic records and certified English translations, if applicable, for international applicants) from each institution of higher education attended. For the initial review, electronic scans are OK, but to be officially admitted, official transcripts have to be submitted to the graduate school later on.
  2. Three letters of recommendation. 
  3. A brief essay: describing the applicant's background, interests, goals, aspirations, is required of all applicants.  
  4. For international students from non-English speaking countries, TOEFL or IELTS scores. 


The deadline for applications for the Fall semester is January 15 for international applicants and February 15 for domestic applicants. Strong early applicants are nominated for various University fellowships such as Presidential Graduate Fellowship and Graduate School Research Assistantship. The nomination deadline for the Presidential Graduate Fellowship is mid-January.

TOEFL (for international applicants) score reporting

The TOEFL or IELTS score (no more than two years old) and the transcripts should be reported to the Office of Graduate Admissions, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. For the initial review process, your uploaded TOEFL/IELTS score and transcripts to the UGA webpage are sufficient. However, to be officially admitted, you need to provide official TOEFL/IELTS score and transcripts.

Application Fee

Unfortunately, because of budget constraints at the University of Georgia, we are unable to offer a waiver of the application fee; applications cannot be processed without the fee. We will, however, process applications with unofficial test scores; final acceptance will not be possible without official scores.

Non-physics major in undergrad

Applicants with an insufficient background in physics courses during the junior/senior years of undergrad can be admitted case-by-case. Such students, when admitted, will begin with a remedial physics courses at the 6000 level.

Teaching Assistantship

Unless an applicant specifically requests to not be considered, all applicants are considered for a Graduate Laboratory Assistantship. Some students are admitted with partial or full support as a Graduate Research Assistant, but these should be arranged for by communication with a specific faculty member since the support is from grants held by individuals or groups.  In general, all admitted students will have guaranteed support (either by TA or RA) for the first 1.5 years.

For international students from non-English speaking countries to receive a Graduate Laboratory Assistantship, it is required a higher TOEFL or IELTS  test score than that required for admission to the graduate program.

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