Physics and Astronomy

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate degrees offered


  • M.S.; Ph.D.


Areas of Study
  • Atomic, Molecular, Optical, and Plasma Physics
  • Condensed Matter
  • High Energy Physics
  • Materials Physics
  • Nanotechnology
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Contacts for Physics and Astronomy

Graduate Chair

Dr. Kees Uiterwaal

Graduate Admissions Chair

Dr. Shireen Adenwalla

Graduate Secretary

Ms. Marjorie Wolfe

Campus Address

208 Jorgensen Hall
855 N. 16th St.
Lincoln NE 68588-0299

Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by Physics and Astronomy in GAMES

After you apply, allow one business day for us to establish your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these departmental requirements:

  • Entrance exam(s): GRE (Physics subject test recommended)
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 79
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Personal statement of educational goals and research interests
  • Resume (recommended)

Application Deadlines for Physics and Astronomy
For Financial ConsiderationFall: January 31 Spring: September 30
OtherwiseRolling admissions. Students admitted for fall and spring semesters only; contact the department for more information.


The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers programs leading to master's and doctoral degrees. With approximately 60 graduate students and 30 faculty members, the department maintains a friendly and informal atmosphere that is conducive to close interaction between faculty and students.

Our faculty brings in over $10 million per year in scientific research grants, which provides students with research assistantships, support for travel to national and international meetings, and access to state-of-the-art research equipment, including computational facilities and fully staffed electronic and instrument shops. One example of the cutting-edge research facilities available is the Extreme Light Laboratory, which houses a new multi-million-dollar laser system capable of focusing light to the highest level of intensity ever achieved. Not only is this capability expected to lead to new discoveries in fundamental physics, but it has important multidisciplinary applications in materials science, chemistry, biology, as well as medicine, security and defense.

Our program prepares students for employment in all sectors. Students interested in academic or government employment have been hired as postdoctoral research associates at Princeton, Caltech, Berkeley and the Office of Naval Research. Our graduates also work in industry at places like Seagate, Applied Magnetics, Micron and Eaton SEO and in academia, including McMurry University, Loras College, Fort Hayes State University and St. Thomas University.

Courses and More

Students in Physics and Astronomy are most likely to take courses in: See also: Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin.

Students will work with an advisor to create a Program of Studies or Memorandum of Courses during the first half of their coursework.

Faculty and research

Shireen Adenwalla
Polymers; Magnetic Systems; Structural Characterization of Materials; Solid State Neutron Detectors
Herman Batelaan
Coherent Electron Control; Quantum Properties and Analogues
Kirill Belashchenko
Electronic Theory of Magnetism and Magnetotransport
Christian Binek
Exchange Bias in Magnetic Metal and Insulator Heterosystems; Magnetic Nanoparticles; Statistical Physics
Ken Bloom
Experimental High Energy Particle Physics
Paul Burrow
Negative Ion; Vertical Attachment; Electron Transfer
Martin Centurion
Ultrafast Atomic and Molecular Dynamics (Experimental)
Dan Claes
Experimental High Energy Physics; Cosmic Rays
Aaron Dominguez
Experimental High Energy Particle Physics
Peter Dowben
Changes in Electronic Structure; Ferromagnetism
Stephen Ducharme
Ferroelectric Polymers
Axel Enders
Self-Assembled Magnetic Nanostructures
Ilya Fabrikant
Atomic Physics; Electron Collisions and Attachment; Negative Ion Decay
Paul Finker
Matthias Fuchs
Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics
Gordon Gallup
Multifermion Systems; Electron Scattering
Timothy Gay
Polarized Electron Physics
Alexei Gruverman
Nanoscale Physical Phenomena in Electronic and Polar Materials
Robert Hardy
Structural and Vibrational Properties of Crystalline and Amorphous Solids
Xia Hong
Complex Oxide Interfaces and Nanostructures; Two Dimensional Electron Systems
Sitaram Jaswal
Magnetic Materials; Magneto-Resistance Materials
Serge Kalmykov
Roger Kirby
Nanoscale and Nanostructured Materials
Ilya Kravchenko
Experimental High Energy Physics
Kam-Ching Leung
Astronomy; Astrophysics; Double Stars
Sy-Hwang Liou
Quantum Conductance; Microcantilever Torque Magnetometer
Thomas Morgan
Edgar Pearlstein
Solid State Physics
Leo Sartori
Edward Schmidt
Variable Star Observation; Ultraviolet Images
David Sellmyer
Quantum and Spin Phenomena
Bradley Shadwick
Theory of Intense Laser-Plasma Interactions
Norman Simon
Analysis of electric and magnetic signals from the brain; EEG and MEG study of sleep.
Ralph Skomski
Theory of magnetic nanostructures- specifically modeling behavior of nanostructures and to make predictions about conceivable but difficult-to-produce materials
Gregory Snow
Experimental High Energy Physics; Cosmic Rays
Anthony Starace
Laser-Atom Interactions; Harmonic Generation
Evgeny Tsymbal
Spin-Dependant Electronic Transport; Nanoscale Magnetic and Ferroelectric Materials and Structures
Kees Uiterwaal
Interaction of Matter with Ultrashort and Intense Light Pulses; Femtosecond Lasers
Donald Umstadter
Diocles Laser; Nonlinear Optics of High Intensity Lasers; Relativistic Plasmas; Extreme States of Matter
John Woollam
Thin Films; Interfacial and Environmental Effects on Materials

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