Prospective Students

If you are considering graduate study in physics at the Ph.D. or M.S. level at UMass and wish to understand the application procedure, this page is for you. If you are interested in details regarding the structure of the programs (required coursework, etc.), please see Current Students

Undergraduate Degree

The normal preparation by students admitted to graduate study in the department is minimally a bachelor's degree in physics. However, in the past, students with degrees in engineering, mathematics or other areas have been admitted. The general requirements and regulations pertaining to advanced degrees are given in the University's Graduate School Bulletin (, and the Graduate School Website.

Candidates planning to do graduate study in physics should have completed at least (preferably, more than) 15 semester credit hours in undergraduate physics beyond introductory courses, as well as at least 6 credits of mathematics beyond college-level calculus.

Standardized Exams

The university requires scores for the general  Graduate Record Examination (GRE)  from all Ph.D. applicants, although there are no specific required minimum scores and the results are considered as only one part of the overall credentials of the applicant. The department requires that all Ph.D. applicants also take the advanced GRE Subject Exam in Physics (Note: subject AND general GRE requirements are currently suspended for physics applicants). The GRE exams are not required for M.S. applicants (optional).

International students must take the TOEFL exam to demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English. During the pandemic, other options are also available.  Please see the updates on the graduate school covid-19 updates.

For further information about the GRE and TOEFL exams, contact the Educational Testing Service.

The links below provide information about the graduate program, financial aid and housing, application advice, and other useful information. Many of the frequently asked questions regarding the application process can be found at: Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any further questions, please feel welcome to contact our Graduate Program Manager: Katie Bryant.

During the pandemic, please see the graduate school covid-19 updates for other updates on the admission process and requirements.

Physics Ph.D. Program

Physics M.S. Program