Graduate

Graduate Program
Graduate Program

Take a Virtual Tour!

Want to experience what it is like to research in one of our labs? Now you can visit five labs with the Physics & Astronomy 360 Virtual Tour.

Make sure to utilize the full 360 degree space by moving your phone or dragging your desktop cursor up-and-down and side-to-side. Stand up, walk around, and experience each space.

Work with internationally recognized leaders in three subdisciplines of physics.

See yourself at Nebraska

Our department offers doctoral degrees with specializations in three major subdisciplines of physics. Physics & Astronomy is located in Jorgensen Hall, on the City Campus of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. We collaborate with numerous centers located on campus including the P-SPINS Materials Research Science and Engineering Center as well as the Center for NanoFerroic Devices.

Admission to the graduate program occurs primarily in the fall, but some applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The Department does not offer a separate program for the M.S. degree, though an M.S. degree may be obtained while continuing toward your Ph.D.

Take advantage of assistantships and travel opportunities

Our faculty bring in well over $16 million per year in research funding, which provides graduate 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.


Graduate Program Overview

  • Faculty: 26
  • Graduate Students: 89
  • Annual Research Funding: $16.5 million
  • Ph.D. Theses since 2005: 68
  • Jorgensen Hall, our 125,000 ft2 home, was built in 2010.
  • High-Profile Publications since 2005: Science (8), Nature (2), Nature-group journals (18), Physical Review Letters (241)
  • Fellows of the American Physical Society: 11


Graduate Program Applicant Contact

Graduate Secretary
pagrad@unl.edu
402-472-9221
208 Jorgensen Hall

Areas of Graduate Study

Atomic, Molecular, Optical, & Plasma Physics

The AMOP group investigates ultrafast atomic, molecular, and plasma processes at state-of-the-art experimental and computational facilities. Current research areas include matter optics, diffractive imaging, electron spin polarization, relativistic laser-matter interactions, nonlinear X-ray optics, attosecond physics, high energy density physics, plasma physics, and strong-field physics. Laser-matter interactions at the highest attainable field strengths are probed using the Diocles laser at the Extreme Light Laboratory.

Condensed Matter & Material Physics

The CMMP group studies the fundamental properties of novel materials and nanostructures and develops device concepts for information processing and storage, energy harvesting, and sensor applications. The P-SPINS Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and the Center for NanoFerroic Devices conduct world-class research in magnetic, ferroelectric, and multiferroic materials and structures, offering an exciting collaborative environment for graduate students.

Experimental High Energy Physics

The HEP group studies the most fundamental constituents of matter. It plays a leading role in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment operating at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. It also performs theoretical studies of hadronic interactions, neutrino physics, and dark matter and energy. Nebraska faculty and graduate students participated in the discovery of the Higgs boson and are developing instrumentation and computing facilities for the experiment. Most graduate students spend time at CERN as part of their Ph.D. research.



Karl Ahrendsen

"One of the major deciding factors for me choosing Nebraska was the focus on students. Even on my first visit, the faculty made clear they were excited to work with me towards my short- and long-term goals."

Karl Ahrendsen

Rami Kamalieddin

"I have been fortunate to work at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (in Geneva, Switzerland) for my Ph.D. Collaborating with such a diverse group of people on this exciting experiment has been one of the best experiences, personally and professionally, Rami Kamalieddin in my academic career."

Rami Kamalieddin

Emily Kaplan

"I came to Nebraska for an REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) the summer before my senior year of undergrad, and I immediately fell in love with the research here. Coming from Philadelphia, I was a bit surprised to find that I also love the feel of Lincoln, which has all the opportunities I am used to in a city but with a much more relaxed vibe."

Emily Kaplan

Apply Now

Let curiosity move you to start your story at the Department of Physics & Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences. With specialized programs of study in three subdisciplines of physics, the opportunity for hands-on experience through our nationally-acclaimed master's and Ph.D. programs, and a campus located at the heart of an innovative college city community of over 250,000 people, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln offers the ideal Big Ten collegiate experience for graduate students at an affordable cost.

Apply now