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Graduate Programs in Physics

Drexel University's post-baccalaureate certificate, master's (MS) and doctoral (PhD) degrees in Physics offer students a comprehensive graduate education and the opportunity to engage in leading scientific research.

Faculty in the Department of Physics, in collaboration with their graduate students, conduct original research that spans virtually all fields of physics and provides a stimulating collegial atmosphere. Our faculty members lead world-class research programs in a wide variety of disciplines including astrophysics, biophysics, high-performance computing, ultra-low temperature physics, nanotechnology, nonlinear dynamics and particle physics. Graduate students have the opportunity to work closely with these world-recognized leaders, and their day-to-day encounters with faculty and classmates outside of their chosen area provide the added stimulus of new ideas and insights.

Professional diversity is a feature of our curriculum that allows first- and second-year students to see some of the contemporary issues of physics first-hand. This is especially helpful to the student who is undecided about the field he or she wishes to pursue. Specialization in the graduate physics program does not occur until after the second year.

Graduate Programs

Graduate Program Highlights

  • Research beginning in the first year, with freedom to explore different areas of physics before choosing a thesis topic
  • Opportunities to participate in major worldwide research collaborations, including the largest sky surveys of our time (SDSS and LSST), the IceCube and LBNE neutrino experiments, and the PICO dark matter detection experiment
  • Access to a a diverse range of experimental and research facilities
  • Topical courses in areas of current research, including astrophysics, biophysics, nanoscience, nonlinear dynamics, particle physics, and solid state
  • An active, tightly knit community of graduate students that enjoys dinners and outings together
  • Physics Graduate Student Association, run by our students and funded by the University
  • Graduate-student-only research seminars (with free lunch!)
  • Interaction with world-renowned researchers who visit Drexel for our colloquium series, and the annual Kaczmarczik Lecture, which has featured several Nobel laureates
  • Assistantships with 12-month stipend support, full-tuition remission, and free health insurance
  • All coursework and exam requirements are finished in June of the second year; the MS in Physics is also awarded at that time.

Student-Faculty Collaboration

Faculty members and students in our physics graduate program are actively involved in collaborative research efforts, providing unique opportunities to carry out research in projects around the world such as the:

  • Double Chooz and KamLAND neutrino oscillation experiments
  • Sloan Digital Sky Survey
  • Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
  • Hayden Planetarium
  • Universities of Chicago, Palermo, Northwestern; and the Albert Einstein Medical School

There is also significant interaction between some of the research groups at Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania, which is blocks away from Drexel's campus.

Physics Colloquia and Seminars

The numerous colloquia and seminars hosted by the Department of Physics offer graduate students the opportunity to stay abreast of new research in the field. In particular, weekly departmental colloquia feature invited speakers on a wide range of topics. University-sponsored distinguished lectures and the annual Kaczmarczik Lecture bring outstanding physicists (e.g. Martin Rees, Frank Wilczek, John C. Mather, William Phillips, David Gross) to give large lectures, which attract regional attention. The graduate students themselves organize an active seminar series with speakers from their own ranks to remain up to date on each other's work. Research groups within the department also hold their own informal seminars.