Wayne State University

Aim Higher

The Wayne State Department of Physics and Astronomy provides state-of-the-art research facilities and offers excellent research opportunities in theoretical and experimental condensed matter physics (including biomedical physics, nanophysics, and the physics of complex materials),  high energy nuclear physics, particle physics, and astrophysics.

Members of our faculty participate in major international collaborations at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), KEK (Tsukuba, Japan), Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and SLAC National Laboratory.

Graduate Studies Admission Requirements

The Department of Physics & Astronomy is accepting applications for its Ph.D. program.

All applications received before January 15  will receive full consideration for admission and assistantships during the following Fall semester (September). Applications for assistantships received after this date will be considered depending upon the availability of positions.

To be considered for graduate admissions, an applicant must hold or be completing an earned baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a college or university of recognized standing. In addition, prerequisite preparation should include completion of general college physics with laboratory (equivalent to PHY 2170/2171, 2180/2181, and 3300/3310), fifteen credits in intermediate physics courses (e.g. equivalent to PHY 5200, 5210, 5500, 6400, 6410, 6600 and 6610); mathematics through PHY 5100; and CHM 1220/1230 or equivalent courses.

Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General and submit their score with their application. Please note that GRE scores are a very important consideration for admission and award of financial support. The Physics GRE is optional but strongly recommended.

Prospective applicants whose first language is not English are further required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam. A score of 550 or higher is required on the paper based test. The minimal required score on the computer-based test is 213.  A score of 50 or higher on the TSE (Test of Spoken English) satisfies the language requirement for a teaching assistantship. Alternatively, applicants for a teaching assistantship must receive a score of 50 or higher on the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) test after arrival at Wayne State.

Visit the Wayne State Graduate School website for further details about  Graduate School admissions criteria.

Application Procedure for Graduate Admission 

All applications and required documents must be submitted ONLINE via the Wayne State website http://gradadmissions.wayne.edu.

Please do NOT send any hard copies of your documents. Required documents include your academic records, three letters of references, GRE/TOEFL score sheets, and a personal/research statement. Only complete applications including all these required documents will be considered.

The Department evaluates all complete applications on a rolling basis beginning on January 15th, and informs you of our departmental recommendations for admission and financial support. If you indicate that you wish to be considered for admission if financial support is not available, we will inform you of our recommendation regarding admission. Since most decisions on support for new students are made considerably before the beginning of the academic year (fall semester begins in late August) for which aid is sought, we strongly advise that you submit your application materials as early as possible.

For more information, please contact Claude Pruneau, Chair of the Graduate Admission Committee

Financial Aid

Graduate teaching assistant (GTA) appointments are available to qualified incoming and continuing graduate students. The GTA teaching load involves six-to-eight contact hours per week of laboratory or quiz (recitation) sections per week for students with a nominal  graduate course load of eight to ten credits. Students who are not taking any courses may be given a higher teaching load.

Graduate research assistant (GRA) appointments, involving no teaching duties, are also available to qualified students. Exceptional students may qualify for Rumble fellowship. Stipends associated with teaching and research assistantships and fellowships were set at $16,984 for the 2010-2011 academic year.

In addition to stipends, GTA and GRA positions provide:

Tuition scholarship valued at $10,480 (Michigan residents) or $22,055 (non- residents)

Dental insurance valued at $205

Medical insurance valued at $3,772.

The total minimum value of this support is $31,441 (residents) or $43016 (non-residents). Incoming students are guaranteed additional support during the summer while continuing students generally find support as teaching or research assistants.


Additional information may be requested by:

Email: Claude Pruneau, Chair of the Graduate Admission Committee

Telephone: (313) 577-1813