What are the application deadlines?

The application deadline is January 31st for Fall admission. The graduate admissions committee starts reviewing all completed applications in late January. We do review applications that come in after the deadline; however, the later they arrive, the more likely it is that financial aid, including lucrative fellowships, will already have been committed. We continue reviewing applications until our entering class is complete. (top)

Can I start graduate school other than during Fall semester?

It is possible but rare to start graduate school in the Spring semester. In some years we have admitted one or two students for the Spring term. In other years none have been admitted for the Spring term. (top)

What is the status of my application?

You can check on the status of your application through GAMES. Your application must be complete for the admissions committee to evaluate and conduct a review. We begin making offers for Fall as early as mid-February and will continue making offers until the entering class is filled. (top)

Can I submit an application without the GRE, the Advanced GRE or the TOEFL?

The general GRE is an important component of the materials used by the Graduate Admissions Committee to make admissions decisions. Applications without the general GRE will be considered incomplete and will not be evaluated. The Physics GRE is strongly recommended. Students from non-English-speaking countries must submit a TOEFL or ILETS score for their application. (top)

What test scores do I need to get to be considered for the graduate program?

Students from non-English-speaking countries are required to demonstrate proficiency in English via the TOEFL exam or the ILETS. 
A minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL, 80 on the internet-based, or 213 on computer-based TOEFL is required for consideration.
The minimum score for the ILETS is 6.5. 

Applicants with an undergraduate or master's degree from an institution where instruction is in English are exempt from submitting a language test.

Beyond this requirement we evaluate each application on its own individual merits. There are no required minimum scores; however, we rarely admit students with undergraduate GPAs less than 3.0. A GPA of 3.5 or better is required to be considered for the fellowships, which provides additional stipends to outstanding entering students. (top)

Can I be admitted to the Physics Graduate Program without a previous degree in Physics?

It is necessary that you take courses in Analytical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, and Introduction to Electordynamics to be considered for admission to the Physics Graduate Program. (top)

Should I submit a personal statement?

Yes. A one-page statement describing why you are interested in graduate school and what you would like to accomplish helps the admissions committee decide whether we would be a good match for you. (top)

How many applications do you receive? How many graduate students do you admit?

It varies from year to year. The department has about 80 graduate students total. Recent entering classes have ranged from 12 to 18. (top)

Do you admit graduate students from other countries?

Students from any country are welcome to apply. We have a diverse graduate student body that includes students from around the globe. Lincoln has many immigrants from around the world, which creates a hospitable and friendly environment for graduate students who may be far from home during their studies. (top)

Do you accept students in my particular field of interest?

We offer the opportunity to research in three subdisciplines: Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics (AMOP); Condensed Matter/Materials Physics (CMMP), and High-Energy Physics (HEP). We admit students with interests in all three subdisciplines each year. (top)

Will you look over my information before I apply and tell me if I have a chance of being admitted? 

The volume of applications we receive makes it impossible for us to pre-evaluate your chances of admission. We do not have minimum scores. Each application is reviewed independently by the Graduate Admissions Committee. Many factors are taken into account including transcripts, GRE scores, TOEFL scores, curriculum vitae, personal statement, letters of recommendation and published papers. Individual faculty are not able to make decisions regarding applicant admission. (top)

I would like to transfer from another graduate program. Will my courses transfer? If I’ve taken qualifying or comprehensive exams at my current institution, do I have to take them again at UNL?

If you are in a traditional physics program, up to 45 graduate credits may transfer, subject to evaluation by the Graduate Chair. Any student receiving a degree from the UNL Department of Physics & Astronomy must take each of the exams required for that degree at UNL. (top)

If I’m accepted, will I be eligible for funding?

We typically admit students with full funding, either through a teaching assistantship, a research assistantship, a fellowship, or some combination of these three. Our full-time graduate students are almost always fully funded. Assistantships provide a stipend and full tuition remission, as well as a contribution to health insurance. The standard TA stipend for one year is $20,304; however, outstanding students are eligible for additional Fellowships, which range from $1500/year to $8,000/year. Lincoln is a relatively inexpensive place to live. A nice apartment can be had for $625-$800/month and the median house price is $130,000. (top)

Do you have any fellowships for new graduate students?

Yes. All admitted graduate students are automatically considered for supplemental fellowships, which increase the stipend from $1,500 to $8,000 per year. You do not need to do anything extra to be considered for one of these fellowships. If you are offered a fellowship, your acceptance letter will include the details. (top)