Physics Doctoral Program
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
ContactGraduate Admissions1.888.511.1306[email protected]
Gain the kind of leading-edge research experience that’s coveted by academic and industrial employers alike in the Stevens physics Ph.D. program.
Our Department of Physics is committed to advancing both science and scientists. Here, you’ll deepen and broaden your understanding of technology and physical science while learning about the latest experiential and theoretical innovations in these fields.
Stevens’ physics faculty are leaders whose accomplishments include patents in emerging technology, particularly in sensors and optics. Through resources like the Center for Quantum Science and Engineering and the nation’s first campus hybrid quantum-communications network, you can conduct research in reduced-dimensional materials, nanophotonics, cybersecurity, quantum control, ultrafast optics and many other applications without even leaving campus.
The Department of Physics offers dynamic opportunities to explore leading-edge research within a close community of faculty mentors. You'll be able to study under a faculty mentor in the area that you find most exciting:
Quantum Information Science
Physics Research at Stevens
Faculty in the department are at the forefront of research and entrepreneurship. Many hold patents in emerging technology, including sensors and optics. Learn more about research in the Department of Physics.
The Stevens Advantage
Stevens enjoys strong partnerships with leading universities and research centers in the region and around the world, and many physics Ph.D. students receive job offers as professors and postdoctoral researchers immediately upon graduation. Our students also take advantage of Stevens’ proximity to New York City’s financial industry hub and its thriving start-up community for research collaborations, networking and employment opportunities.
More Advantages to Our Program
Opportunities to work on formative, breakthrough research alongside Stevens’ renowned faculty
Doctoral students may join the Center for Quantum Science and Engineering (CQSE) and participate in building the quantum internet
Local proximity to established collaborations with other universities
Experience working in or with national research centers
A guest speaker series that brings real-world experience to the program
Who Should Apply?
We welcome applicants who have a master’s degree in physics or quantum science and engineering (up to 30 credits may transfer to Stevens’ Ph.D. program). Exceptionally well-qualified applicants with a bachelor’s degree in physics or quantum science and engineering or a related field may also be considered for direct admission to the Ph.D. program.
Program Admission Requirements
Bachelor’s or Master's degree, with a minimum GPA of 3.0, from an accredited institution
Official college transcripts
Two letters of recommendation
Resume or curriculum vitae
A statement of purpose
For international students: An excellent TOEFL/IELTS score
A competitive GRE or GMAT score (only required for full-time applicants)
Please review the requirements for those entering the program with a bachelor’s degree and those entering with a master’s degree in the Curriculum Overview below.
For information about fellowships and assistantships, contact Graduate Admissions. Contact >
Physics Doctoral Program Curriculum Overview
Doctoral students in physics conduct exciting and cutting-edge research with faculty who are leaders in their fields. Students study applications in various areas of technology and physical science and are kept abreast of the latest experimental and theoretical innovations in these areas. The program offers a varied curriculum with broad training in diverse areas and highly specialized courses.
A minimum of 84 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree is required for the Ph.D. degree. Required coursework represents at least 18 credits. At least 12 of the remaining 66 credits must be for the Ph.D. research (PEP 960). Ph.D. candidates are required to have competency in using computer-based methods of calculation and analysis. Students lacking this competency are encouraged to take PEP 520 Computational Physics, or equivalent. The preliminary requirements for the doctorate are regarded not as ends in themselves, but rather as preparation for the dissertation in which the student demonstrates ability.
Each Ph.D. curriculum must also adhere to the institute wide standards listed in the academic catalog.
For students entering with a master's degree:
Applicants with the equivalent of the Stevens Master of Science in physics degree are eligible to take the qualifying exam immediately and become candidates without additional course requirements. Nevertheless, they have to fulfill all described requirements including doctoral coursework, research, any core courses of the Stevens Master of Science in physics not taken during their previous master's degree, and a total of 54 credits beyond the master's degree.
Applicants with a non-physics master's degree may be required to complete sufficient coursework to meet the requirements for a physics degree in addition to the remaining doctoral requirements outlined above. The details of the makeup work are determined by the department's Graduate Academic Standards and Curriculum committee. For more information, visit the Office of Graduate Academics.
In addition to the core courses required in the 30-credit Master of Science degree in physics (PEP 642, PEP 643, PEP 644, PEP 554, PEP 528, PEP 555, and PEP 510 and one 600-level advanced quantum mechanics course), completion of the following coursework will be required for the Ph.D.:
PEP 667 Statistical Mechanics
The following course requirements must also be met:
One 600-level quantum mechanics application course
Two 700-level courses chosen in consultation with an academic advisor
Three Ph.D. signature credits (can be in one or multiple approved courses)
Doctoral candidates must pass a qualifying examination, which consists of two oral examinations. The first oral examination tests mastery of a set of core physics topics, while the second oral examination tests the student's ability to discuss physics problems and current research topics with an examining committee of three faculty members. Candidates have two opportunities to pass each examination. The first attempt must be made within the first two years of study at Stevens. Upon successful completion of both examinations, they become qualified Ph.D. candidates.
Doctoral Dissertation and Advisory Committee
Within six weeks after passing the qualification examination, a Ph.D. advisory committee shall be formed for each Ph.D. student, consisting of a major advisor on the physics department faculty, an additional physics department faculty member, and a third Stevens faculty member from any department other than physics. Additional committee members from Stevens or elsewhere may also be included.
Students carry out an original research program under the supervision of the major advisor and advisory committee. The results of the research will be presented in a written dissertation. Upon approval of the advisory committee, the written dissertation will be defended by the student in an oral defense.
If you have existing graduate credits or experience in this area of study, please contact [email protected] to discuss opportunities to include it in the curriculum.