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Admissions

Updated 9/13/2021

Students are only admitted for the Ph.D. program, but, once admitted, a Masters degree could be earned as specified here: https://www.phys.ufl.edu/wp/index.php/graduate/degrees/. The prerequisite for the physics graduate program is a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in physics or a closely related field. Entering graduate students are expected to have a strong undergraduate foundation in general physics, classical mechanics, elementary quantum mechanics and modern physics, electromagnetism, and thermodynamics, in addition to mathematics through differential equations and calculus. Promising students who lack proper background in one or more of these areas will still be considered for admission, but may expect to spend a portion of their first year taking transitional remedial courses.

Deadlines

Note: The deadline for submission of application materials for domestic and international students has recently changed.

For full consideration, domestic and international students should submit all application materials by December 15, 2021. The first offers of admission and financial support are sent in early January: applicants who submit materials after the deadline are therefore at a distinct disadvantage. No offer of admission or financial support can be made until the application is complete. International students who submit late materials may not have time to obtain required visas.

Students receiving offers of admission and financial support are asked to accept or decline that offer no later than April 15. Institutions that follow the guidelines of the Council of Graduate Schools cannot require a graduate program applicant to accept or decline an offer of financial support before April 15.

Financial support

Most entering graduate students are initially supported by a teaching assistantship, which pays the student’s tuition and provides a stipend. Teaching assistants play an important role in the overall instructional effort of the department. The teaching assistantship also provides a professional benefit to the graduate student, since it develops a student’s teaching skills and mastery of the subject. After successful completion of initial coursework, students are usually incorporated into research groups and may then be supported by research assistantships while working toward their degrees.

Appointments for teaching assistantships for entering students are normally made for the nine-month academic year from August to May. Students can be re-appointed for the summer months. The current twelve-month stipend is $25,000 for a first-year teaching assistant. International students who are unable to pass the required Test of Spoken English (TSE) upon arrival at UF will be appointed to grading assistantships, which cover tuition but carry a reduced stipend without classroom teaching duties. These stipends are usually sufficient to provide reasonably comfortable living for graduate students in the Gainesville Florida area. Although both teaching and grading assistantships cover tuition, students are responsible for other required student fees.

Fellowships

For qualifying students, fellowships are available. All applicants will be considered for any the fellowships for which they may be eligible; a separate application is not needed. Further information on these possibilities is available from the Graduate Recruiter , Jacobo Konigsberg.

How to apply

Students are admitted into the graduate program of the Physics Department, not into individual research groups. Therefore, no offer or promise of admission to the graduate program can be made until a student has submitted a complete application for graduate admission. All application materials should be submitted through the University of Florida admissions website and NOT sent to the Physics Department.

The online application: Please submit ALL application materials through the University of Florida online application system at the website of the University of Florida Office of Admissions: http://www.admissions.ufl.edu/start.html. When you complete the online application, please be careful to apply for the fall semester (not spring or summer). You will be given an identification number (the UFID) that you can use to track the receipt of application materials through the Office of Admissions website. For further details see http://www.admissions.ufl.edu/prospectivegraduate.html.

Application Materials

MATERIALSSubmit to Office of Admissions; 201 Criser Hall, P.O. Box 114000; Gainesville FL; 32611-4000
Application Fee$30
College/
University Transcripts
For purpose of initial review, the Office of Admissions accepts unofficial transcripts. Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts within the academic background section of their application, or if not available at the time of application, through their application status page at a later date.

Applicants who receive an offer of admission should arrange to have official transcripts sent to the UF Office of Admissions from each post-secondary institution attended.
TOEFL Test Score Reports
(for international students)
Original report Use institution code 5812
Letters of recommendationSubmit three letters online
Statement of purposeSubmit online
Certification of Financial ResponsibilityMay be submitted after acceptance
Contact:Pam Marlin
pmarlin@ufl.edu
  • Application fee of $30. This fee is required by the University of Florida. It cannot be waived, reduced, or deferred by the Physics Department. Please note that a service charge may be added if you pay by credit card.
  • Transcripts are required from every post-secondary institution (college or university) that you have attended. Your transcripts must show that you possess (or will possess) a four-year undergraduate degree, or its equivalent.
  • Official score report for the English language proficiency exam is required for most international students. Proficiency in the English language is required of applicants from countries (and from Puerto Rico) where English is not the official language. These applicants must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB). The Physics Department strongly recommends that international students take the internet-based TOEFL (the TOEFL-iBT) if possible. Please use institution code 5812 to send TOEFL score reports to the Office of Admissions. The English testing requirement may be waived if you have been enrolled in a degree-seeking program for one academic year, in a country where English is the official language, prior to your anticipated term of enrollment at UF.
  • Certification of Financial Responsibility. This form is required by the University, but it does not have to be completed before we review your application. This form can be submitted at a later date.
  • You can track the status of your application using the UF Office of Admissions online application system.

Supplemental Application Materials

Complete applications, which include all required materials listed in the Table above, will receive a full evaluation by the Department of Physics for potential admission.

Supplemental materials that could be helpful for evaluating the applicant are also welcome but are not required.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General and Physics Subject Tests are not required for admission to the graduate Physics program at the University of Florida. Applicants who do wish to provide GRE scores may submit an original score report using Institution Code 5812 for the General Test, and Institution Code 0808 for the Physics Test.

Other examples of materials that applicants may wish to submit include academic information beyond undergraduate transcripts such as awards and recognitions received, physics courses completed beyond undergraduate level, summer schools attended, evidence of meaningful prior research, involvement in physics outreach or peer organizations, and a personal statement about challenges experienced and how the applicant responded to them.

Frequently Asked Questions

 What is the admissions committee looking for in a successful application?

Admission is not based on any single factor but rather on the holistic picture that the complete application provides of qualities that are necessary for success in a graduate program. These include academic performance, impression made on teachers and colleagues, potential as researchers, persistence in overcoming obstacles, commitment to learning and educational success, etc.

We review all application materials submitted in order to assess whether the applicant has these qualities.

What is the minimum grade point average (GPA) required for admission to the UF graduate physics program?

University of Florida Graduate School regulations prevent us from admitting applicants with a GPA below 3.0. The average GPA for enrolled students is about 3.6. Applicants with a GPA below 3.25 should be quite exceptional in some respect to receive full consideration.

Is there a minimum TOEFL score?

Please refer to the information posted by the Office of Admissions. The Graduate School of the University of Florida requires a score of at least 80 on the internet version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). We pay particular attention to the spoken English portion of the TOEFL: Students with spoken English scores below 23 are unlikely to be offered a teaching assistantship by the Physics Department.

Can you tell me if all of my application materials have been received?

When you complete the online application, you will receive login information that will allow you to verify the receipt of your application materials by the UF Office of Admissions. The Physics Department does not have an online system for checking application status, nor do we have sufficient staff to research all of the queries that we receive regarding application status. Therefore, please understand that we cannot verify the receipt of individual applications or documents. The table on our Admissions website describes the items that are required. If you have specific questions about those requirements, please contact the Graduate Recruiter, Jacobo Konigsberg.

I cannot afford to pay the $30 application fee. Can I pay it after I am admitted?

No. We realize that the fee may impose a hardship on some applicants, particularly international applicants. However, please understand that the $30 fee is not collected by the Physics Department. It is required and collected by the University of Florida Office of Admissions. We are not permitted to admit any student whose complete application has not been received by the Admissions Office – and this includes payment of the fee. Therefore, we simply cannot consider your application until your fee is paid. If you have a friend in the United States, that person may pay your fee for you.

How many students do you usually accept each year?

Our average incoming class consists of about 25 students. Our graduate program presently enrolls about 130 graduate students.

How many years do students in the UF program typically take to complete their degree?

Recent physics PhD students at UF completed their degrees in an average of about 5.7 years.  This is consistent with the average for US physics PhD programs.

I have a three-year baccalaureate degree in physics. Can I apply to your PhD program?

Students holding a diploma from one of the 46 European nations that participate in the Bologna Process will typically qualify for admission to our PhD program. All other students must possess a recognized baccalaureate, graduate or professional degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or an international equivalent, based on a four-year curriculum. See the Office of Admissions website for details.

I am not a physics major. Can I still apply for admission to your graduate program?

Yes. Many students apply with an undergraduate major in another area of math, science, or engineering. We do not restrict our admissions to physics majors. But keep in mind that the admissions committee will look for evidence of solid undergraduate preparation in physics. If you have not taken many upper-division physics courses, you may be at a disadvantage. If you are lacking many of the core subjects (e.g. electromagnetism, thermal physics, mechanics, quantum mechanics) you will have a difficult time in any physics graduate program. A weak undergraduate preparation in physics may also affect your performance on the general and/or physics GRE, although these tests are not required by the Physics department. But generally, if you have done well overall in any undergraduate program with a strong math and physics component, then you may be a good candidate for admission.