The Department of Physics supports a variety of programs that are at the frontier of basic research. Areas of specialization include nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, quantum nanoscience, quantum optics/ultra-cold atoms, free electron lasers, biological physics, experimental high energy physics, experimental nuclear physics, nuclear and particle theory, condensed matter theory, string theory, and gravitation. The research groups are not large but are all very active and enjoy a high reputation; this provides the opportunity for students to participate in frontier research, while fostering a strong interaction between students and faculty. The department is the site of the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory and the Duke Free Electron Laser Laboratory. The high energy physics group conducts research at major international laboratories (e.g., Fermilab, CERN and Super-Kamiokande). The Center for Nonlinear Studies is a cooperative program involving faculty members of the departments of Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Chemistry, and the Pratt School of Engineering. The Center for Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences fosters trans-disciplinary research employing mathematical techniques. The Center for Geometry and Theoretical Physics involves both Physics and Mathematics departments.
- Physics: PhD Admissions and Enrollment Statistics
- Physics: PhD Completion Rate Statistics
- Physics: PhD Time to Degree Statistics
- Physics: PhD Career Outcomes Statistics
Application Deadline: December 13
Applications submitted by December 13 are guaranteed review. Applications submitted after December 13 but before the closing date of January 3 will be reviewed based upon availability of space and funding.
Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.
- Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
- Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
- Statement of Purpose: Required (see departmental guidance below)
- Résumé: Required
- GRE Scores:
- GRE General: Optional for 2023
- GRE Subject - Physics: Optional
- English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
*test waiver may apply for some applicants
- GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required
Writing Sample: None required
We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance