Graduate Program Application Instructions
Department of Physics Graduate Program
The application deadline has passed; we are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2020.
We will begin accepting applications for Fall 2021 admission starting October 1, 2020 with an application deadline of January 15, 2021.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on applicants’ abilities to take entrance exams, the UO Department of Physics requests that applicants do not submit Physics GRE or General GRE score reports in the upcoming admissions cycle.
We understand that in certain cases, applicants may wish to include their GRE scores to demonstrate their preparedness for graduate coursework. Examples of cases in which we may consider GRE scores include applicants:
- Without an undergraduate degree in Physics
- Who are many years past their undergraduate degree
- From an international undergraduate school
- Who wish to supplement a weaker area of their application
If you feel that this applies to you and would like to submit a GRE score, please contact us to discuss further.
You can expect a decision by March 15th if your application is completed by the deadline. Late applications will be accepted through the end of January but we cannot guarantee full consideration and late applicants will not be considered for fellowships or awards.
Students who apply to our Ph.D. program by the deadline are automatically considered for a number of fellowships and/or awards that support graduate student success. The fellowships/awards include: Raymund Fellowship, UO Graduate School First-Year Fellowship, Promising Scholar Award, and Lokey Graduate Science Awards. The Admission and Awards Committee of the Department of Physics will select highly qualified applicants and apply to the UO Graduate School for these fellowships/awards on their behalf. You will be notified if you are selected for one of these awards.
Please note: a master’s degree is not required for admission to the Ph.D. program, only a bachelor’s degree. If your final goal is a Ph.D., apply directly to the Ph.D. program and not a master’s degree program. If your final goal is a master’s degree please use the same application but choose ‘Master’s Degree’ when applying.
This master’s program leads to a traditional M.S. degree, if your goal is to work in industry you might want to consider applying for the Master’s Industrial Internship Program: https://internship.uoregon.edu/
To prepare for the application process, please read all instructions below before applying.
- [SUSPENDED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC) Take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam). The GRE General Test (verbal, quantitative, analytical) is required for all applicants. The GRE Subject Test is optional but highly recommended for applicants with a bachelor’s degree outside of physics or for non-traditional students. The GRE Subject Test helps reviewers gauge your potential for success in graduate coursework. The GRE Subject Test is not required for M.S. applicants. Ideally, applicants should take the GRE test(s) in time for the official results to arrive before the January 15th deadline. Applicants should upload a copy of their GRE Test Taker Score Report directly to their application instead of having scores sent by ETS. Please upload your GRE scores in the “Academic History” section of the application as if it were an additional transcript. If you’re unable to upload your scores, official GRE scores may be sent to the Physics Department by ETS. The University of Oregon code is 4846 and the Physics Department code is 0808. Both codes must be used to ensure delivery to the Physics Department. It is recommended that you check with the Physics Department for receipt of your official scores if they are sent to Physics directly by ETS. Please contact Tiffany Stewart, firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Take the TOEFL (international applicants only). Foreign students for whom English is a second language must take the TOEFL or the IELTS exam as required by the University of Oregon Graduate School and the Physics Department. As a result, we cannot waive this requirement nor can we grant admission before one of these exams is taken. The Department of Physics requires a minimum score of 88 for the Internet-based (iBT) version of the TOEFL (or 575 for the paper-based test). The minimum acceptable IELTS score is 7.0; only the academic version is accepted, not the general-training version. Please note: the English-language proficiency requirement is waived for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. institution or from an institution in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada (excluding Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom. Applicants should upload a copy of their TOEFL Test Taker Score Report directly to their application instead of having scores sent by ETS. Please upload your TOEFL or IELTS scores in the “Academic History” section of the application as if it were an additional transcript. If you’re unable to upload your scores, official TOEFL scores may be sent to the Physics Department by ETS. The University of Oregon code is 4846 and the Physics Department code is 0808. Both codes must be used to ensure delivery to the Physics Department. It is recommended that you check with the Physics Department for receipt of your official scores if they are sent to Physics directly by ETS. Please contact Tiffany Stewart, email@example.com for assistance
- Assess your interest in our faculty. While completing the departmental online application you’ll be asked to identify Physics faculty members whose research is of particular interest to you. This assists the Admissions Committee in identifying your research interests. See Faculty Profiles.
- Identify your recommenders. We require recommendation letters from three referees as part of the application. These should be from faculty or professional supervisors who are familiar with your coursework and/or research experience. All recommendation letters are submitted electronically. Once you submit the contact information for your referees, they will be automatically contacted by email with instructions for submitting their letters online. You should therefore fill out this section of the application as soon as possible and notify your referees in advance to ensure timely submission. It is recommended that applicants verify with their recommenders that the requested letter has been submitted.
- Assemble transcript information. For the online application you will need to upload clear, easy-to-read copies of your transcripts from all institutions you have attended. In cases where transcripts are not issued in English, applicants must submit certified word-for-word English translations. Unofficial copies are acceptable. We will only require official transcripts after you have been accepted into our program and you decide to enroll here. At that time, we will require final degree transcripts, which are transcripts that show your degree and the date it was granted.
How to Apply:
Submit the University of Oregon Graduate Application. Select the major Physics and doctoral degree or master’s degree depending on which program you’re applying for. A $70 application fee for domestic applicants and a $90 application fee for international applicants is collected by the Office of Admissions.
Application fee waivers are available through the UO Graduate School for applicants who qualify. Please review the fee waiver information on the Grad School website to see if you qualify. The Department of Physics does not administer the fee waiver and cannot answer questions about the process or the status of a request, so please direct questions about the application fee waiver to the UO Graduate School.
Complete the following steps:
- University of Oregon Graduate Application
- Transcripts: scanned unofficial transcripts should be uploaded to your online application. Please include transcripts from all schools where you received college credit. Please upload your transcripts in the “Academic History” section of the application.
- GRE scores: [SUSPENDED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC) a copy of your GRE Test Taker Score Report from the ETS website can be uploaded to your online application. Simply save your score report as a PDF and upload the PDF in the “Academic History” section of the application as if it were an additional transcript.
- TOEFL scores (international applicants only): a copy of your TOEFL Test Taker Score Report from the ETS website can be uploaded to your application. Simply save your score report as a PDF and upload the PDF in the “Academic History” section of the application as if it were an additional transcript.
- Three letters of recommendation: Our online application requests contact information for each reference. References will receive an email with instructions for submitting their letters online. It’s recommended that you complete this section as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery of your letters.
- Research experience: please list any research projects you have worked on or are currently working on. This section can be left blank if not applicable.
- Theses or Publications: please list any theses or publications. This section can be left blank if not applicable.
- Research area and faculty members of interest: list any research areas of interest to you as well as faculty members you would be interested in working with. This section is not required for M.S. applicants.
- Personal statement: you should prepare a personal statement, about 500 words long. Please describe: (1) your past work in physics, (2) your plans for graduate study, (3) your research interests, (4) your career goals, and (5) why the University of Oregon is a good match for your interests and goals.
- TA support: please indicate if you’re interested in receiving TA support. All students admitted to the Ph.D. program are also eligible for support as a teaching assistant. This support includes: a monthly salary of ~$2,000, a tuition waiver up to 16 credits per term, and approximately 95% of your health insurance premium is paid by the UO. M.S. students are not guaranteed TA support from the Physics Department.
Once you have submitted your application, you cannot log back in to make changes. Please make sure your application is complete before officially submitting it. The Physics Department can assist you with making minor changes to the departmental and letters of recommendation sections of the application after it has been submitted. Please contact Education Programs Manager, Tiffany Stewart: firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-346-4751, for assistance. We are here to help so don’t hesitate to ask if we can answer any questions for you!