An Overview of the Notre Dame Physics Graduate Program

Our graduate students are an indispensable part of ND Physics, contributing to and energizing research in experimental and theoretical physics from a wide range of areas. During a typical year, approximately 100 graduate students collaborate with the 60 faculty members, and ~20 post-doctoral researchers who comprise the department.

All admitted students receive full tuition support and a stipend. Beginning doctoral students typically work as teaching assistants (about 15 hours per week) during the academic year. During the summer most students hold research assistantships. The majority of advanced students work as research assistants funded by external research grants. Applicants with strong academic records are automatically considered for fellowships.

The APS cites the Notre Dame Department of Physics as a female-friendly physics department with over 40% female graduate students.

The Notre Dame Difference:

Notre Dame offers the research opportunities of a large university coupled with the environment of a smaller, private university. The Notre Dame Department of Physics prides itself on its collaborative and supportive environment.

Areas of Research


Shari Herman
Graduate Program Coordinator

Student Spotlight

Miguel Correa selected as a KITP Graduate Fellow

Physics Graduate Student Miguel Correa has been selected as a KITP Graduate Fellow for Summer/Fall 2021. The purpose of the Graduate Fellowship Program is to offer a unique opportunity for a select group of physics doctoral students to participate in KITP research programs and broaden their pursuit of theoretical physics in areas of current research.…

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Holmbeck ​awarded prestigious Hubble Fellowship

Erika Holmbeck '20 Ph.D. has been awarded the NASA Hubble Fellowship, a highly competitive fellowship renewable for up to three years that will allow her to continue her research on the origin of the universe’s heaviest elements.

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Orlando Gomez receives the 2021 Lamm Award

Orlando Gomez

Orlando Gomez received the 2021 Larry O. Lamm Memorial Award in Nuclear Physics. The award is given annually to the graduate student deemed to have provided the most outstanding service and dedication to the Nuclear Science Laboratory. The award recognizes Orlando’s continued efforts in sustaining and driving forward CASPAR experimental campaigns, making experimentation possible during the trying times of the COVID pandemic.…

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Nirupama Sensharma receives the 2021 Browne Award

Nirupama Sensharma

Nirupama Sensharma received the 2021 Cornelius P. Browne Memorial Award in Nuclear Physics for her work on wobbling motion in gold nuclei and outstanding outreach effort through her project Nuclear Energy – The Better Energy

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Physics graduate student one of 52 named to DOE research program

Physics graduate student Patrick Fasano has been named a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program (SCGSR). This biannual award will allow him to perform theoretical nuclear physics thesis research at the DOE-led Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LNBL).

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Physics doctoral student champions nuclear energy through startup company

Nirupama Sensharma, who plans to graduate in 2021 with her doctoral degree in physics from the University of Notre Dame, is passionate about nuclear science and wants to make sure the public understands the benefits of deriving energy from nuclear power. Her message: Be not afraid.

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Physics graduate student recognized with 2020 CRC Award for Computational Science and Visualization

The Department of Physics is proud to announce that graduate student Trevor Sprouse has been recognized with a 2020 Center for Research Computing (CRC) Award for Computational Sciences and Visualization. This award recognizes outstanding contributions in the areas of computational sciences and visualization. Such contributions may include, but are not limited to: 1) applications of high performance computation and/or visualization technology; 2) development of algorithms, codes, software environments or other tools for better using high performance computing and/or visualization.…

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2020 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Awards announced

Kaneb Logo

Physics graduate students Saurabh Bansal (advised by Prof. Chris Kolda) and Orlando Gomez (advised by Prof. Anna Simon) are the recipients of 2020 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Awards from the Kaneb Center. 

This award was created in 1999 to recognize graduate student instructors and TAs who demonstrate commitment to exceptional teaching in lectures, seminars, labs, and across the academic profession. The Graduate School and the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning present the award annually to TAs that are nominated by their departments. There were fourteen awards given to TAs in the College of Science. The award consists of a certificate from the Kaneb Center and Graduate School, a letter documenting the award for the graduate student’s file, and a $100 honorarium from the Kaneb Center.…

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Physics graduate student Nirupama Sensharma works to create nuclear energy awareness

Nucl Energy

Nuclear Energy - The Better Energy is an initiative to promote knowledge and awareness about the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Physics PhD student Nirupama Sensharma’s vision in developing 'Nuclear Energy - The Better Energy' is to bridge the gap between her research as a nuclear scientist and her responsibilities towards society. She says that spreading awareness is the only way to counter the fear and stigma associated with nuclear energy. In the present age of technology, society is constantly evolving and moving towards advancement. To fight the current climate crisis, Sensharma explains that there is a need to reduce carbon emissions and find a way to progress using sustainable resources. She believes that embracing nuclear energy is the step that will take society closer to a safer environment.…

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Holmbeck wins award at the Nuclear Physics in Astrophysics Conference (NPA-IX)

Npa Ix Holmbeck

Erika Holmbeck, fifth-year graduate student in the Theoretical Nuclear Astrophysics and Galactic Archaeology groups of Professors Rebecca Surman and Timothy Beers, won the “Best Poster Award” for her work on Characterizing r-Process Sites Through Actinide Production

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