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Prospective Ph.D. Students

Thank you for your interest in Michigan Physics, a distinguished department at an internationally renowned research university.

We pride ourselves on providing unparalleled academic training to our students, and our graduates are highly regarded both nationally and internationally as researchers, teachers, and professionals in private industry.

In addition to the vibrant, collaborative, and interdisciplinary research opportunities we offer students, we are particularly proud of our high program completion rate, our commitment to fully fund our students for up to five years, and the supportive and collegial environment fostered by our faculty, students, and staff.

We’re also proud to call Ann Arbor, Michigan, home—a city consistently ranked one of the best places in the country to live and that offers an extraordinary range of cultural, social, and scholarly events and activities. The University of Michigan is well integrated into the City of Ann Arbor, and many of the city’s attractions are within walking distance of campus. 

We hope that the information on our website provides you with a detailed picture of our doctoral program. For additional information regarding our program or how to apply, please contact us at

We look forward to connecting with you.


Admission Requirements

Prospective students are encouraged to contact faculty members directly in order to learn more about specific research groups. However, admission decisions are made solely by our admission committee.

The minimum requirements for admission are:

  1. A bachelor's degree in physics or a related discipline.
  2. The GRE general test (the additional physics subject test is strongly recommended)
  3. For non-native English speakers: proof of English proficiency, eg. A ToEFL test.

Undergraduate Degree Requirement

No minimum undergraduate GPA is required, nor do we impose any specific course requirements.

The necessary grounding for the program is the equivalent of a full undergraduate physics major. This typically involves solid intermediate-level courses in classical mechanics, electromagnetism, thermal and statistical physics, and quantum physics as well as some study of applications in the context of modern physics. Research experience is not a requirement, but it is an asset.

The Rackham Graduate School generally insists on undergraduate degrees of at least four years nominal study. However, the Physics department will request exceptions for students with equivalent preparation.


We have no minimum requirements for scores on these standardized tests, but scores are considered along with all the other aspects of the application. 

The ETS code is 1839.

Language Requirement

Applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree from an institution where the medium of instruction is English are exempt from submitting a language test.

For students with no exemption we require a minimum ToEFL score of 90.

Application Instructions

In addition to the online application form, a complete application includes the following elements:

  • Statement of purpose: What are your goals for graduate school and your future career? What are your research interests, and how have your educational, research and/or professional experiences prepared you for pursuing a PhD in Physics?
  • Personal Statement: How have your background and life experiences, including, cultural, geographical, financial, educational, citizenship status or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? (500 word limit) 
  • CV
  • Test scores: GRE general, GRE physics (recommended), and English-language proficiency score (if applicable)
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Transcript from undergraduate university. Mail to:
         Rackham Graduate School Admissions
         Attn: Transcripts
         915 E. Washington Street
         Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
  • Application fee

The application deadline is December 15, 2018. (Midnight EST). The online application system will be disabled at the deadline.

The preliminary review of applications will be initiated shortly after the deadline. All supporting materials must be received by January 6, 2019.

Please note the following: We do not accept updated transcripts with Fall grades or supporting documentation that has not been submitted through the application system.