Graduate Admission Requirements & Guidelines

General Graduate Program Information

The selection of Ph.D. students admitted to the Department of Physics Graduate Program is made by the Department’s Graduate Admissions Committee. Individual professors do not participate in the admission process, however, you are welcome to contact them for information regarding their research. The Department does not offer a separate program for the master's degree, though an M.S. degree may be obtained while continuing toward your Ph.D. Applications for the fall semester will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting in early January. Applications for spring admissions will be reviewed after Sept. 30.

Application Information

  • Most students enroll in the fall semester.
  • Apply by January 31 to ensure full consideration for fall enrollment, by September 30 for spring enrollment.
  • Early applications are encouraged.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $50 is required. This requirement may be waived for students with documented hardship. Please see Graduate Studies' Application Requirements for more details.
  • You will find many of your answers below or at

Physics & Astronomy Graduate Contact

Graduate Program Associate
208 Jorgensen Hall

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the doctoral program must:

  • Complete the online application to be considered for admission.
  • Have, preferably, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S., or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Graduate Studies Admissions Office.
  • Complete the general GRE exam. The subject GRE is not required but is highly recommended.
  • Complete the TOEFL exam if English was not the official language of instruction.

Required application materials:

  • Transcripts:  Upload a transcript copy for each institution listed in your application. Your official transcripts will be requested by the Office of Graduate Studies once your application is complete.

Mail official transcripts to:

Office of Graduate Studies
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
1100 Seaton Hall
Lincoln NE 68588-0619

  • GRE scores: The program does not have a minimum GRE score, though the preferred Quantitative score is greater than 158. You may self-report your test scores in the GAMES system. Be sure to have ETS send your official scores to the UNL Office of Graduate Studies (institution code 6877). Once received, your scores will be marked as “Verified Yes” and you will be locked out from making changes to the test scores. The scores must be verified before your application will be reviewed for admission.
  • TOEFL: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score is required for international students whose first language is not English, except those applicants who have graduated from an accredited university where English is the language of instruction. A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based (PBT), 80 on the Internet-based (IBT), or 213 on computer-based (CBT) TOEFL is required for consideration for admission to the UNL Physics Graduate Program. The minimum score for the International English Language Testing System (ILETS) is 6.5.
  • Personal Statement: Include a one-page statement describing your academic and research successes, your interest in physics, your professional goals and an explanation of any low grades or time gaps in your education.
  • Resume: Your resume should include a complete account of your academic background, scholarly accomplishments, awards, professional activities, published works and research experience.
  • References: Three letters of recommendation are required. Recommenders are notified by email and are provided with the link to upload their letters to your online application.
  • Application Fee: The $50 fee may be waived for students with documented hardship.