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Prospective Physics Students

How to Apply

It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials required for the evaluation of your application are received by the Office of Admissions before the deadline. If your application is incomplete by the deadline date, it may not be evaluated for the term requested.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Acceptance for graduate study requires a four-year Bachelor's Degree in Physics from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution. Regular acceptance typically requires a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) for the last two years of undergraduate work. The average for any graduate work must be at least 3.0. Applicants for post-master's status must show potential for further study by having maintained at least a 3.0 average in their master's-level studies.

Successful applicants always have GRE scores above 150 Verbal and 150 Quantitative (the average is much higher than this). TOEFL scores of successful foreign applicants are usually 600 (PBT), 250 (CBPT), 100 (IBT) or higher. The listening part of the test is particularly important.

Strong undergraduate preparation in the core areas of physics (classical mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical physics and quantum mechanics) is a prerequisite. Experience and interest in doing research is also highly valued, although we understand that not all undergraduate institutions offer such opportunities. It is important that the research interests of the applicant are well matched by the research areas of our faculty. Applicants are required to submit a list of courses taken in physics with course number and applicable textbook, as well as a list of courses in progress.

We will give full consideration for both admission and financial support to applications that are complete by January 1. The GRE physics exam is required to be considered for assistantship support. Outstanding applicants may be considered for additional fellowships. The department accepts applications for admission for the fall term only.

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English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first or native language is not English must demonstrate an adequate command of both spoken and written English, and they are required to submit English proficiency test scores as part of their application. We recognize the internet-based test (iBT) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). If you are taking the TOEFL, request the scores to be sent directly to Drexel University; the institutional code for ETS is 2194.

TOEFL score reports are valid for two years and scores will be considered expired if the test was taken more than two years prior to submission of the application. Photocopies of TOEFL score reports will not be considered valid.

Financial Support

We award highly qualified students with financial assistance in the form of teaching, research or graduate assistantships. Both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens are eligible, and must be enrolled as full-time graduate students. The financial support includes both full tuition and an annual stipend. We will give full consideration for both admission and financial support to applications that are complete by January 1. Outstanding applicants may be considered for additional fellowships.

Teaching assistant (TA) duties vary widely and may involve assisting a faculty member in a course or as instructor in an introductory course. A Research Fellowship (RF) supports a student doing research in a specific research group. The funds for Research Fellowships usually come from federal, foundation or industrial support awarded to a faculty member or to a laboratory. A large number of physics graduate students are Research Fellows. Research Fellowship appointments are generally for the academic year, plus the summer. Research Fellowships are not awarded on the basis of financial need. They are awarded to students who show promise in the area of research being undertaken.

Renewal of Teaching Assistantships and Research Fellowships is subject to the students remaining in good standing and making satisfactory progress toward their degree. Award and renewal of funding is not automatic; students must request funding at the time of their application and students desiring a second year of funding should request it from the Director of Graduate Studies.

Students are also encouraged to apply for funds and competitive scholarships. Faculty will assist students in developing funding proposals. Be sure to take note of funding application deadlines, and allow sufficient time to discuss funding proposals with your adviser.

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Physics Graduate Student Activities

We have an active tightly knit community of graduate students that enjoys dinners and outings together. Here you will find just an example of the activities that our graduate students do together:

Graduate Student Retreat

Every year the graduate students have a camping trip retreat the weekend before classes start. It is organized by the students and supported by the department.  It has become an excellent opportunity to introduce the new students to their counterparts.  It is also a relaxing trip for the students who just completed their qualifying exams.  In the past few years they have explored Worlds End, Ricketts Glen and French Creek state parks in Pennsylvania. 

Indoor Rock Climbing

Sponsored by the PGSA (Physics Graduate Student Association), graduate students went to GoVertical on an indoor rock climbing trip this year.

Poker Night

Why waste time going all the way to Atlantic City when you can gamble with you friends? The graduate students play a weekly tournament-style poker game that includes dinner.

Visit Drexel's Department of Physics

If you are interested in our graduate programs and will be in the Philadelphia area, please arrange a visit to the Department of Physics. Potential students are encouraged to contact research labs and/or individual faculty directly to inquire about availability during their visit.