Applying to Graduate School in Physics at USU
Consideration of applications begins January 15 and continues until openings are filled. Acceptance notifications are generally made in early spring. Applicants for the graduate program must submit results from the General GRE. Applicants are also encouraged to submit results from the Physics Subject GRE.
MS degree recipients in physics are generally employed by industrial or government laboratories as either physicists or engineers. Some are hired as teachers by high schools and by two-year colleges. Holders of the PhD in physics will generally be hired as research and development physicists by industrial or government laboratories and as professors in universities (though this may require additional postdoctoral research experience). All of our recent graduates have found employment commensurate with their career goals and abilities.
PhD students enter the program on a probationary basis and begin by taking a prescribed 2 year course sequence. During the second year the faculty evaluate the student's performance and decide whether the student "qualifies" for continuation in the program. After qualification a research advisory committee is formed. After qualification and completion of coursework, in the third year, a research-based candidacy examination (designed in collaboration with the committee) determines whether the student is ready to pursue dissertation research. The research topic is set and the student works with his/her mentor and committee until completion of the research, writing of the dissertation, and its defense.
All of our PhD students are supported with graduate school tuition waivers, graduate student health insurance, and a monthly stipend for work performed as Teaching Assistants in our instructional activities or Research Assistants in our research groups.