Graduate Degree Program Summary
Graduate programs offered
Earn a Graduate Degree
- MS in Physics and Astronomy (36 cr, Option III only)
- PhD in Physics and Astronomy (90 cr)
Areas of Study
These informal areas of focus may help to shape your course of study but they will not appear on transcripts.
- Atomic, Molecular, Optical, and Plasma Physics
- Condensed Matter
- High Energy Physics
- Materials Physics
Online and Distance OpportunitiesSome online coursework may be available for your program; contact dept. for details.
Contacts for Physics and Astronomy
Application checklist and deadlines
1. Required by Graduate Studies
Submit these items as part of the standard steps to admission.
2. Required by Physics and Astronomy
After you apply, allow one business day for us to set up your access so you can complete these requirements via MyRED.
- Entrance exam(s): GRE (Physics subject test recommended)
- Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 80, IELTS 6.5
- Three recommendation letters
- Personal statement of educational goals and research interests
- Resume (recommended)
When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.
Application Deadlines for Physics and Astronomy
- For Financial Consideration: January 31 for Fall.
- Otherwise: Rolling admissions. Students are admitted for fall semesters only; contact the department for more information.
Application/admission is for entry in a specific term and year. UNL's academic year is divided into 3 terms: Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer (multiple sessions May-August). Some UNL programs accept new students only in certain terms and/or years; if your desired entry term isn't mentioned here, you may want to consult the department for clarification.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers programs leading to master's and doctoral degrees. With approximately 80 graduate students and 27 faculty members, the department maintains a friendly and informal atmosphere that is conducive to close interaction between faculty and students.
Our faculty bring in over $16 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 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.Do you see yourself here? Take the virtual tour to learn more.
Cost of attendanceCost differs from one student to another. For details see Tuition, Fees, and Funding or try our Cost Estimator.
Faculty and research
Where available, faculty names link to bios or homepages and conversation icons () link to directory listings with address, phone, and email.
Experimental Condensed-Matter Physics; Magnetization Dynamics in Coupled Systems; Magneto-Electric Interactions in Heterostructures; Neutron Detectors
Experimental Atomic Physics; Laser Cooling and Trapping; Matter Optics and Interferometry; Ultrafast Electron/Photon Physics
Electronic Theory of Magnetism and Magnetotransport; Spin-Dependent Transport; Alloy Theory
Experimental Condensed-Matter Physics; Magnetic Heterostructures and Model Systems; Voltage-Controlled Magnetism; Spintronics
Experimental High-energy Physics Focusing on Top-Quark Physics; Higgs Boson Characterization; Particle Physics Research
Experimental Ultrafast Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics
Experimental High-Energy Physics; Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider; Comic Ray Observatory Project (CROP) in Nebraska
Experimental High Energy Particle PhysicsGraduate Faculty Associate
Electronic Structure of Solids and Surfaces; Nonmetal to Metal Transitions; Surface Magnetism; Surface Ferroelectricity; Organic Molecular Interfaces
Experimental Condensed-matter and Optical Physics; Physics and Applications of Molecular and Polymer Ferroelectric Materials; Nanoscale Ferroelectricity
Self-Assembled Magnetic NanostructuresGraduate Faculty Associate
Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics; Atomic Processes Involving Negative Ions; Electron-molecule and Electron-cluster Collisions; Strong-field Ionization of Atoms and Molecules
Experimental Ultrafast and High-field X-ray Science; Laser-Wakefiled Acceleration; Ultrafast X-ray Interactions; High-field Interactions; Nonlinear X-ray Optics
Experimental Atomic, Molecular, and Nuclear Physics; Polarized Electrons
Nanoscale Physical Phenomena in Multiferroic and Polar Materials; Static and Dynamic Properties of Ferroic Domains; SPM Studies of Electromechanical and Mechanical Properties of Biocompatible Materials and Biological Systems
Materials Science; Epitaxial Growth and Nanofabrication of Complex Oxide Heterostructures; Transport Studies of Nanoscale and Low-dimensional Electron Systems
Magnetic Materials; Magneto-Resistance MaterialsEmeritus
Nanoscale and Nanostructured MaterialsEmeritus
Theoretical Condensed-Matter Physics; Spintronics; Spin-Dependent Transport; Quantum Information Processing
Experimental High Energy Physics
Quantum Conductance; Microcantilever Torque Magnetometer
Quantum and Spin Phenomena
Intense Laser-Plasma Interactions; Advanced Accelerator Concepts; Plasma Theory; Hamiltonian Systems and Methods; Advanced Numerical Methods; Cluster Computing
Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics; Magnetic Nanostructures; Micromagnetics; Intrinsic Properties of Permanent Magnets
Experimental High-Energy Physics; D0 Experiment at Fermilab; Cosmic Rays; Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider
Laser-Atom Interactions; Harmonic Generation
Theory of Electronic, Magnetic, Ferroelectric and Transport Properties of Materials and Structures
Photoexcitation and Photoionization in Ultrashort & Intense Laser Pulses; Molecular Photochem.; Spatially-resolved Time-of-Flight Ion Mass Spectrometry; Nonlinear Optical Effects; Holographic Spatial Pulse Shaping; Optical Vortices
Extreme Nonlinear Optics of High-intensity Laser Interactions; Relativistic Plasmas; Compact Laser-driven Particle Accelerators and Ultra-Short-Duration X-Ray Sources; High-Energy Density Physics and Extreme States of Matter
Thin Films; Interfacial and Environmental Effects on MaterialsEmeritus
Experimental Condensed-Matter Physics