Apply Now to the Graduate Program

Application checklist:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Intent (Helpful Hints)
  • CV or Resume
  • Transcripts -- unofficial*
  • GRE Scores -- (General Test and Physics Subject Test) -- unofficial* (Note: GREs older than five years are not accepted by the Graduate School)
  • English Proficiency Examination (TOEFL or IELTS): Required for all students who were not educated in English -- unofficial*

All application materials must be submitted electronically. Paper copies will not be accepted by the graduate school. The Notre Dame institution code is 1841.

*Unofficial copies of applicant transcripts and exam scores (i.e., submitted online by the applicant) will be accepted for evaluation purposes. However, official copies of transcripts and exam scores (i.e., sent directly to Notre Dame by the institution or organization) will be required if admitted.

Admissions Information:

  • Applications should be submitted by January 15 for full consideration. We admit primarily students who start in the fall.
  • Applications are evaluated by a physics admissions committee consisting of 5 or 6 faculty members who represent the primary research areas of the department plus the graduate student coordinator. All applications are read by at least one member of the admissions committee. The committee makes recommendations to the department chair on which students should be admitted. The department chair then reviews the decisions. If the decision is positive, candidates are informed that the department has recommended them to the Graduate School for admission. The official letter offering admission is sent to the candidate by the Graduate School.
  • While an application may be submitted before GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores are available, the evaluation and a decision on admission cannot be made until these scores have been submitted. We do not make strict "cuts" on candidates, but competitive applicants are characterized by the following:
    • Subject GRE: 600 and above
    • Grade Point Average: 3.2 and above
    • TOEFL internet-based test: 80 and above overall, 23 and above, speaking
      Or, IELTS the minimum score is 7.0
  • Applicants with strong academic records will be automatically considered for internal fellowships offered through Notre Dame.
  • We value diversity in our department, welcoming in particular applicants from underrepresented groups in physics (e.g., women and minorities). The Graduate School, at their discretion, will pay the application fee for minority applicants who are U.S. citizens. The Department of Physics also provides a very limited number of application fee waivers. To be considered for a fee waiver from the physics department, please complete the application form:  Fee Waiver Application Form Fall 2019 (pdf file) and return to Shari Herman ( The Fee Waiver Application deadline is December 31, no applications will be accepted after this date. Please note that the Fee Waiver Application decisions are made after the New Year. 
  • Admitted students residing in the U.S. will be invited to a campus visit during the spring.
  • Students are not admitted to work with a specific research advisor. However, the recommendations of funded research advisors are considered strongly by the admissions committee. Because of the breadth of the research areas in the department, we are a good option for students who are undecided on their research area. We do need to know whether a student has a preference for experiment or for theory.
  • Entering graduate students are assumed to have a preparation which includes background at the level represented by the following text books: Basic Physics (Resnick, Halliday and Krane, Physics, Vols. 1 and 2); Classical Mechanics (Taylor); Quantum Mechanics (Griffiths); Electrodynamics (Griffiths); Thermal Physics (Schroeder).