Graduate Admissions

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in joining the Princeton Physics community. Here you will find a description of the application process for the graduate program. To learn what it’s like to be a Physics graduate student at Princeton, check out the Student Experience page. To apply, visit the Graduate School Admissions page.

Key dates:
  • Application deadline: December 15 - 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time

  • Admissions decisions announced: mid February-mid March

  • Offer acceptance deadline: mid April

  • Program start: August

In the evaluation of each applicant, we look primarily for the potential to perform forefront research in experiment, theory, or some combination. 

The Physics department is strongly committed to creating an inclusive, diverse graduate community whose members feel welcome and valued. However, we also recognize that the Physics community has much work to do towards improving diversity and we strongly encourage members of Historically Underrepresented Groups to apply. Click here to read our Statement of Solidarity with movements against systemic racism and to learn about our department’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative.

The Admissions Process:

Each application is read by at least two faculty members. We take a holistic approach to admissions, carefully weighing all components of the application to make the best determination about which students will be a good fit in our department. Each year we receive more than 600 applications and send out admissions offers to roughly 50 – 60 applicants. The typical class size is 20 – 30 students, roughly half of whom are international students. Admitted students begin the following September -- they never begin the program in January. Because of the small number of students in each cohort, applicants are admitted only as candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. There is no separate Master of Arts program and no provision for part-time students. However, an M.A. is awarded to those who desire it after they have passed their Generals requirements.

More details about each application component can be found below.

Other departments:

Students might want to explore physics research in the following departments: Astrophysical Sciences, Plasma Physics, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Neuroscience, Quantitative and Computational Biology. Our research subpages list some associated faculty in other departments with official connections to the Physics department. Note, however, that you are only able to apply to one department at a time.


For questions regarding the application process, please reach out to Katherine Lamos, Graduate Program Administrator. For general info about the department culture and graduate life, feel free to reach out to the Physics Ambassador for your region. For information about Access, Diversity, and Inclusion (ADI) in Princeton’s Graduate School, please visit the ADI “Prospective Students” page.

Application Components: