Graduate admissions

Wayne State provides state-of-the-art research facilities and offers excellent research opportunities in theoretical and experimental condensed matter physics (including biomedical physics, nanophysics and the physics of complex materials), high-energy nuclear physics, particle physics and astrophysics.

Members of our faculty participate in major international collaborations at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), KEK (Tsukuba, Japan), Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and SLAC National Laboratory. Faculty also utilize the Wayne State Computing Grid, the Open Science Grid and other large grid computing systems as part of their collaboration efforts. Our faculty are highly active in their fields, publishing in excess of 50 per year.

A master's degree typically takes from one to two years to complete. A Ph.D. typically takes seven years but can be completed in as little as four years.

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Admission requirements

All applications received by December 31 will receive full consideration for admission and assistantships during the following fall semester (September). Applications for assistantships received after this date will be considered depending upon the availability of positions.

  • Prerequisites

    To be considered for graduate admissions, an applicant must hold or be completing an earned baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a college or university of recognized standing. In addition, prerequisite preparation should include completion of general college physics with laboratory (equivalent to PHY 2170/2171, 2180/2181, and 3300/3310), 15 credits in intermediate physics courses (e.g., equivalent to PHY 5200, 5210, 5500, 6400, 6410, 6600 and 6610); mathematics through PHY 5100; and CHM 1220/1230 or equivalent courses.

    View prerequisites for:

  • Test scores

    Prospective applicants whose first language is not English are further required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam. A score of 550 or higher is required on the paper-based test. The minimum required score on the computer-based test is 213. A score of 50 or higher on the TSE (Test of Spoken English) satisfies the language requirement for a teaching assistantship. Alternatively, applicants for a teaching assistantship must receive a score of 50 or higher on the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) test after arrival at Wayne State.

    Learn more about the Wayne State Graduate School admissions criteria.

Application information

All applications and required documents must be submitted via the online application.

  • Required documents

    Please do not send any hard copies of your documents. Required documents include your:

    • Academic records
    • Three letters of references
    • TOEFL score sheets (if required)
    • Personal/research statement


    Only complete applications including all these required documents will be considered.

  • Application deadlines

    Graduate admissions take place in the fall. The physics department evaluates all complete applications on a rolling basis beginning on January 15. To ensure full consideration, complete application packages for admission in the fall (Sept. 1) should be received by December 31 of the previous year.

    The physics department will inform you of our recommendations for admission and financial support. If you indicate that you wish to be considered for admission if financial support is not available, we will inform you of our recommendation regarding admission. Since most decisions on support for new students are made considerably before the beginning of the academic year (fall semester begins in late August) for which aid is sought, we strongly advise that you submit your application materials as early as possible.

    Apply for admission

  • Financial aid and graduate assistantships

    Financial support is provided to incoming and continuing qualifying Ph.D. students by means of Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA), Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) and selected fellowship programs.

    All incoming Ph.D. students are automatically considered for GTA, GRA or the Rumble Fellowship program. However, the number of assistantships and fellowships awarded to incoming students varies from year to year.

Contact 💬

Claude Pruneau, chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee