Department of Physics & Astronomy

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Application Process

1. Submit your Apply Texas Application electronically before the appropriate deadline.

When filling out your application, be sure that you are applying to the main Texas A&M campus in College Station.

Please note there are separate forms for Astronomy and Physics/Applied Physics, with different requirements.

You will also be required to pay the application fee before submitting your application. Applications for Fall 2018 require a fee of $65 for domestic students and $90 for International students.

Limited financial assistance is available for low-income applicants. Please contact to request assistance.

Application deadlines for Fall 2018 admission:

  • Domestic applicants: December 1, 2017
  • International applicants: December 15, 2017

Applications will still be accepted after the deadline; however, please note that applications received after the deadlines above will be processed last.

2. Submit your official test scores directly to Texas A&M from ETS.

Use Institution Code 6003 to ensure that your scores are sent to the main Texas A&M campus in College Station. A department code is not needed.

Required score reports:

  • GRE General Test (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing)
  • GRE Subject Test in Physics (only required for applications to the Physics/Applied Physics PhDs)
  • TOEFL ot IELTS Test required for all international applicants

Please visit the ETS website for assistance with sending your scores to Texas A&M.

3. Submit your supplemental materials directly to the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Your supplemental materials may be uploaded online through AIS (see *below), by postal mail at the address listed below, or to

Supplemental Materials include:

  • Resume or CV
  • List of publications or statements of research experience (when applicable)
  • At least three letters of recommendation (submitted through AIS or by postal only)
  • Personal Statement (submitted as part of the ApplyTexas application or sent directly to the department)
  • Transcript – for consideration purposes, we will accept unofficial transcripts. However, please note that if you receive and accept an offer, the Office of Admissions will need an official copy of your final transcript. If your official scores and grades do not match any unofficial copies that you submitted (excluding current courses), your application will be subject to rejection and any offers will be rescinded. Transcripts that are not written in English must be accompanied by a certified translation

*A few days after submitting your Apply Texas application, you will receive an email from the Office of Admissions containing your Universal Identification Number (UIN). Once you receive your UIN, you must activate your Net ID on the Applicant Information System (AIS).

If you would prefer to mail your supplemental material directly to the department:

Graduate Admissions Committee
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Texas A&M University
4242 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4242

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What Happens Next?

1. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning with domestic students.

Texas A&M University offers a number of Merit fellowships (for outstanding academic records) and Diversity fellowships (for minority students in science, as determined by the university) for domestic graduate students. The Department of Physics and Astronomy reviews domestic applications first in order to determine which applicants are eligible for these fellowships.

If you believe you may be eligible for a Diversity fellowship, please briefly include your reasoning in an email to

2. Once fellowship nominations have concluded, all remaining domestic and international applications are reviewed.

It is important to send supplemental materials as early as possible to ensure your application is reviewed in a timely manner.

The department does not have minimum test scores or GPA requirements for admission. All applications are weighed against the others, so your odds of acceptance are based upon how the strength of your fellow applicants. Additionally, weakness in one area of consideration (e.g. GRE scores or grades) can be offset by strength in another area (e.g. publications or research experience).

Please note that an international graduate student whose native language is not English must fulfill an English proficiency requirement through either English Proficiency Verification or English Language Certification. This proficiency requirement should be met early in a student’s program, and it must be completed before scheduling either the final examination for the master’s degree or the preliminary examination for the doctoral degree.

Two levels of English Proficiency Status for a graduate student include: English Proficiency Verified and English Proficiency Certified. English Proficiency Certification is required by the State of Texas, before a graduate student is eligible to serve as a Graduate Assistant-Teaching, or any other position considered to be a teaching position (e.g., instructor, lecturer, etc.).All other students must be either English Proficiency Verified or English Proficiency Certified.

English Proficiency Verification can be achieved by presenting one of the following:

  • A TOEFL score of at least 80 on TOEFL iBT (550 paper-based)
  • An IELTS score of at least 6.0
  • A GRE Verbal Reasoning score of at least 146 (400 on the old scale)
  • A GMAT Verbal score of at least 22
  • A PTE Academic score of at least 53
  • Acquiring alternative verification from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies via a departmental request. An international graduate student holding a master’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution qualifies for alternative verification.

Individual colleges may choose to establish minimum TOEFL standards that exceed the University minimum for English Proficiency Verification. Scores from TOEFL examinations administered more than two years before submission of the application for admission shall not be eligible for English Proficiency Verification.

English Proficiency Certification can be achieved by:

  • Scoring at least 80 on each of the sections (reading, listening, written composition and oral skills) of the English Language Proficiency Examination (ELPE)
  • Obtaining grades of A or B in English Language Institute (ELI) courses (reading, listening, written composition and oral skills) at the 300-level or higher
  • Acquiring alternative certification from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies via a departmental request.

A student who has received a baccalaureate degree following four years of study at an accredited U.S. institution or institutions qualifies for alternative certification. All other requests for alternative certification require strong department justification and review in compliance with Office of Graduate and Professional Studies policies and guidelines.

An international student who has completed an equivalent English training program at an institution other than Texas A&M may request English Proficiency Verification or Certification.

Verification or Certification is requested through the Departmental Graduate Advisor. The student should provide the Departmental Graduate Advisor with documentation to support Verification or Certification. If the department concurs with the request, the Departmental Graduate Advisor will submit a letter recommending and requesting Verification or Certification (with documentation attached) to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies will determine on a case-by-case basis whether Verification or Certification is granted.

You can find more information at

3. All applicants receiving an offer of admission will be sent an offer letter to the email address listed on the application.

Admissions decisions are based both on the merit of the applicants and the needs of individual research groups within the department. There is no ranked waiting list.

4. All offers must be accepted or declined in writing by April 15.

If you receive an offer letter, please return the signed decision sheet before the decision deadline of April 15, by either postal mail or by email ( All scanned forms received by email before midnight on April 15 will be considered valid.

Once all decisions have been received, the Graduate Admissions Committee will meet to decide whether any new offers will be made, based again on the merits of the remaining applicants and the needs of the department.


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