Graduate Degrees Offered

two students working with a piece of equipment
Doctoral student Josh Jones and undergraduate researcher Andrew Klevitch assembling equipment for Inelastic Electron Tunneling Spectroscopy measurements.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers the doctor of philosophy (PhD) and master of science (MS) degrees in physics, with the option of specialization in astronomy. Although we offer a course-only MS, our graduate program is mostly oriented toward current physics and astronomy research.

Students may apply to the master’s or doctoral program, though most of our applicants and students are enrolled in the PhD program and earn their master’s degrees on the way to the PhD. Students who enroll in the master’s program will have to reapply to enter the PhD program.

Complete information about our graduate programs, including course descriptions and degree requirements, can be found in the UA Graduate Catalog.

Research Opportunities

Research toward a degree may be conducted in either experimental or theoretical areas. Experimental programs include magnetic materials, high-energy physics, materials science, observational extragalactic astronomy, and particle astrophysics. Theoretical programs include condensed matter, elementary particles, atomic and molecular physics, extragalactic astronomy, astrophysics and particle astrophysics.

Visit our Research Overview for more detailed information.


Students can be admitted for both Fall or Spring although most start in the Fall.  In order to be considered for university fellowships, all application materials should be received by December 15. To receive full consideration for departmental support via graduate teaching or research assistantships, all application materials should be received by January 15. We will continue to accept applications after January 15, although there is no guarantee that we will have positions available after this date.

For a Spring start, the application deadline for domestic students is November 1 while for international students it is June 1. Please note, while we do accept applications for Spring, we make most new offers for the Fall.

Find out how our admissions process works on our Graduate Admissions page.


Get answers to your questions about our graduate programs by contacting the graduate director by emailing

Visit our Graduate Student Resources page for links pertaining to courses, degree requirements, job opportunities after a PhD, and more.

We thank you for your interest in our programs, and we encourage you to learn more by browsing this site, contacting our department office, or taking a tour of our campus.