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Graduate Studies in Physics

Atomic, molecular, & optical research High energy research Nuclear & particle research Condensed matter research
Atomic, Molecular, & Optical High Energy Nuclear & Particle Condensed Matter

Dear Prospective Graduate Students:

The graduate program in Physics at the University of Virginia is intended primarily to prepare Ph.D. graduates for careers in research and teaching in Physics. UVa has active research groups in experimental and theoretical high energy physics, nuclear physics, atomic, molecular, optical and chemical physics, and condensed matter physics. The graduate program in Physics currently has approximately 85 students, 40 standing faculty, 12 emeritus faculty, and approximately 20 postdoctoral fellows, plus visiting scholars and full-time scientific support staff. We invite you to explore our Department and programs using the links below. You can find useful links to information regarding details of the application process, financial aid, research activities, our faculty, the town of Charlottesville and the surrounding area.

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program are supported financially either by teaching and research assistantships or fellowships. Research leading to the dissertation can be carried out not only within the Department of Physics, but, with appropriate arrangements, either partly or entirely at other locations. Recent dissertation research has been carried out at various national laboratories across the country, such as the NIST Center for Neutron Research, Jefferson Lab, Fermilab, CERN, and the Paul Scherrer Institute. Available to students are interdisciplinary programs in physics and chemistry such as the Science and Engineering of Laser Interactions with Matter (SELIM) program, the Chemical Physics Program and the Center for Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science (CAMOS).

During their first year of study, students will be given opportunities to become acquainted with faculty members outside of their formal course work so that they can make informed decisions regarding their fields of interest. A Graduate Seminar is offered to first year students and serves as an introduction to the kind of research performed in the Department. Students will be strongly encouraged to find a faculty advisor to work with for a time under his or her supervision and to obtain some research experience. A student may engage in several such preliminary research periods before embarking upon his or her dissertation research by which time he or she would transfer to a faculty advisor of their choice. All students are expected to devote the summer between their first and second years of study to do research in one of our laboratories or with one of our faculty members. Summer research frequently serves as a very useful trial period or as a time to start on one’s thesis research. The program and quality of work of all graduate students are reviewed periodically by the department in order to guarantee the success of the student’s graduate career.

If you wish to visit our department, please contact us and we can arrange to give you a tour of our facilities.

Best wishes for future success,

Olivier Pfister
Director of Graduate Studies

Graduate Program Information

  • Graduate Student Handbook
  • Admissions
  • Visiting UVa
  • Master of Arts in Physics Education (MAPE)

    Contact Information

    Phone: 434-924-6791
    Email: phys-grad-info@virginia.edu

    University of Virginia Graduate Guide


    Research Areas

  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Biological and Medical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • High Energy Physics

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