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 pages. Additional general information about the department can be found in this department brochure (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.

For those of you interested in material sciences, the UA Graduate School also offers an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, and intercampus PhD program in material sciences. For more information, visit: UA material sciences program and their FAQ page.  Please note, this program is separate from the dept. of Physics and Astronomy and has separate admission requirements and a different admissions committee. If you have questions about the Tri-Campus Material Sciences program, please contact them directly.

Virtual Q&A sessions

We will be holding three online Q&A sessions through the UA Graduate School. These will be held on:

– Monday, September 18th, 2023 at 9:00 am US central
– Monday, October 2nd, 2023 at 9:00 am US central
– Monday, November 6th, 2023 at 9:00 am US central

You can register for the events at: Please scroll to the bottom of the page to sign-up for one of the free events.

Applying to Grad School

Note: The UA Graduate School will run a free graduate application (business) week from October 16 – 20, 2023.  Prospective students can apply for a fee waiver code through the 2023 free grad app website: If eligible, you will receive an application waiver code via email Monday, October 16 before 5 p.m. CDT. Please note that this program is run by the UA Graduate School and not by individual departments. Please contact the UA graduate school directly via for more information on this program.

Admission Requirements

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.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the UA Graduate School requires either 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, an English language test score is not necessary. International students from some English speaking countries may not be required to submit English language tests scores. Please see

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:
  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. TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo English score (if applicable, see below). At the time of application, unofficial copies can be uploaded. Official copies will be requested only after admission. International students from some English speaking countries may not be required to submit English language tests scores. Please see
  8. Optional:  The General GRE score is not required but unofficial copies can be submitted. The Physics GRE score is also optional. See the FAQ page for additional details.

IMPORTANT: Before starting your application process, please review the information on our 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.

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. 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. Please state if you have a clear preference for a particular area of graduate research and whether your inclinations are more theoretical, experimental, or observational. If you are considering a range of possible research areas, please describe them. If you are interested in working with specific faculty in our dept., please mention them in your SOP. You should show awareness of the research being conducted in our department by our faculty to make sure your interest matches. Our Research Overview page 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 also address any weaknesses in your application package.

For More Information

If you have additional questions about the department or the application requirements please visit the FAQ page or contact us at For questions about the application interface or problems with your applications please contact the UA Graduate School.