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

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).

Read More

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.…

Read More

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.

Read More

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.…

Read More

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.…

Read More

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

Read More

Physics doctoral student receives NASA grant to study galaxy evolution

Michelle Berg

The third time was the charm to receive a highly competitive grant for Michelle Berg, a doctoral student in astrophysics at the University of Notre Dame, who this year landed a NASA grant to study the role of gas in shaping galaxies.

Read More

Huestis Selected for DOE Graduate Student Research Award

(From the web page)

Huestis Landscape

Patricia Huestis, a collaborator in the Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM

Read More

Elite group of students selected to advance research in energy at Notre Dame

The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) has selected 11 students to receive 2019 fellowships in energy research at the University of Notre Dame. Awards are granted to students who demonstrate high academic achievement and have a profound interest in addressing the most critical energy challenges facing the world today. Research projects are submitted in collaboration with ND Energy affiliated faculty with project goals focused on supporting the mission to advance energy-related research at Notre Dame. Students use their awards for stipends, laboratory supplies, and travel to present their research results at a national conference. Funding for these competitive awards is made possible through the generosity of University alumni and their families.…

Read More

Reingold spends summer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Reingold Cropped

Craig Reingold, fourth-year graduate student in the Nuclear Science Laboratory working with the group of Prof. Anna Simon, spent ten weeks in summer 2018 at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He joined the Academic Cooperation Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory which hosts up to 800 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The program is designed to encourage external collaborations with LLNL. His stay at LLNL was also partially funded by CENTAUR: Center for Excellence in Nuclear Training and University-based Research. CENTAUR is a five-year grant from National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that is focused on training the next generation of nuclear physics

Read More