Graduate Admissions

students in a physics classBefore You Apply

We encourage you to explore these websites to learn more about our programs:

For a research profile of our department, read our Research Overview. Additional general information about the department can be found in this department fact sheet (PDF).

If you are a current UA physics major interested in a Masters in Physics, you may be interested in UA’s Accelerated Masters Program.

Applying to Grad School

Admission Requirements

COVID-19 exception: The GRE requirement for Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 applicants has been waived. Applicants do not need to submit GRE scores. For international students whose first language is not English, the at-home Duolingo English test scores will be accepted in place of the TOEFL or IELTS scores. If you have received a degree from a U.S. institution within three years of the time of enrollment, a TOEFL score is not necessary.

For a Fall start, the application deadline for domestic and international students is January 15. In order to be considered for all university fellowships completed applications 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. We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. 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.

To be considered for regular admission to the Graduate School, applicants must have an overall GPA of >=3.0 in their undergrad or previous Masters program.  The Physics and Astronomy department is looking for proficiency (As and Bs) in core physics courses. See the FAQ page.

Not required for Spring 2022/Fall 2022 applicants due to COVID-19: The minimum requirements for admission include a combined verbal plus quantitative score of at least 300 on the general GRE (1000 on the prior scoring system); this GRE score must be less than five years old at the time of enrollment.

For applicants whose first language is not English, we require a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper-based test (PBT) or 213 on the computer-based test (CBT) or 79 on the internet-based test (iBT) or an iELTS score of at least 6.5, or a score of 105 for the Duolingo English test; these scores need to be less than two years old at the time of enrollment. If you have received a degree from a U.S. institution within three years of the time of enrollment, a TOEFL score is not necessary.

Further information and application requirements can be found at  UA Graduate School. Please also refer to:

Application Requirements

A complete application consists of the following:

  1. Completed applicant data sheet
  2. Payment of the UA Graduate School application fee
  3. Statement of purpose (see the section “Statement of Purpose” below for details)
  4. Resume or CV (Example CVs can be found at: https://career.sa.ua.edu/resources/career-guide/)
  5. Three letters of recommendation (which can be uploaded electronically by the letter writers)
  6. Unofficial transcripts from all universities attended previously. (Official transcripts will be requested only after admission.)
  7. Waived for Spring/Fall 2022 — Unofficial General GRE score (Physics GRE score is optional. See the FAQ page.)
  8. TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo English score (if applicable, see below). International students from some English speaking countries may not be required to submit English language tests scores. Please see https://graduate.ua.edu/prospective-students/international-admissions/

IMPORTANT: Before starting your application process, please review the information on the FAQ page. If your career plan is to do research, you should apply directly to the Ph.D. program – not the MS Program. Almost all of our prospective students directly enter the Ph.D. program after earning their BS or equivalent degree.

Starting the Application Process

You can start the application process at The University of Alabama Graduate School’s website and follow the instructions on that site regarding the documents you upload (statement of purpose, resume/CV, unofficial scans of transcripts and scores) and the documents that must be sent through official channels to the Graduate School (official transcripts and scores). Official transcripts will be requested only after admission.

IMPORTANT: It is very helpful if you upload unofficial copies (scans are fine) of your TOEFL/Duolingo scores online under Other Documents of your online application form. This allows the admissions committee to examine these documents before the official versions are received and recorded by the Graduate School.

Statement of Purpose

We will evaluate your statement of purpose (SoP) very carefully. Your statement of purpose should clearly describe how an advanced degree in physics or astronomy relates to your career goals. Please state if you have a clear preference for a particular area of research and whether your inclinations are more theoretical, experimental, or observational. If you are considering a range of possible research areas, please describe them. Our Research Overview summarizes departmental research projects and collaborations; individual faculty members’ research interests are described on their webpages, which you can find via our department directory. Your SoP should clearly summarize your undergraduate and, if relevant, previous graduate career including any research you conducted. If you were involved in research projects, please include details on the science goals of the project, what your responsibilities were, skills learned, and the outcomes of your research including any presentations or research papers.

For More Information

If you have additional questions about the department or the application process please visit the FAQ page or contact us at physgrad@ua.edu.

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