- Complete and submit the Texas A&M GraduateCAS Application
- Application fee (see question 3)
- *GRE General and Subject Test scores (waived for fall 2023)
- TOEFL or IELTS Test for international applicants
- At least 3 letters of recommendation
- At least a Bachelor’s degree, with official academic transcripts
- Resume or CV, and any other supporting materials you wish to submit
The deadline for the application is January 10, 2023.
Applications (and supplemental documents) will still be accepted after the deadline; however, please note that applications received by the deadlines above will be processed first. To ensure full consideration for both admission and assistantships, prospective students are encouraged to have all their materials submitted well ahead of the appropriate deadline.
Applicants for fall 2023:
U.S. Citizens and permanent residents: $89.00
If you are the recipient of a Pell Grant or a McNair Scholarship, you automatically qualify for an application fee waiver. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Applicants: $114.00
Limited financial assistance is available for low-income applicants. Please contact email@example.com to request assistance.
At least three letters of recommendation are required.
You will be able to check your application status online through the Office of Admissions. Please note, The Office of Admissions receives all applications for the university, and this high volume of applications often creates a delay in reporting the status of received documents.
Most successful candidates majored in physics as undergraduates, or have similar backgrounds. We particularly value core physics classes, such as quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and classical mechanics.
Yes. The PhD in Astronomy has its own course requirements and a separate application form. Please refer to the Admissions and Graduate Curriculum pages for further detail.
Admissions decisions are based both on the merit of the applicants and the needs of individual research groups within the department. All applications are weighed against the others, so your odds of acceptance are based upon how the strength of your fellow applicants, especially those interested in the same field.
The department does not employ “cut offs” for test scores or undergraduate GPAs, but evaluates each application as a whole. Thus 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 see question 14 for new English language requirements set by the University.
Admission decisions are sent on a rolling basis, so there are no definite dates. Domestic applications are reviewed first (beginning in January), followed by international applications (beginning in February). Typically, offer letters for early applicants usually begin around February.
If you are not admitted and you would like to apply for the next year, you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org and request that your application be deferred for one year. If you are not admitted in the second year and still wish to apply, you must fill out a new Texas A&M GraduateCAS application.
The best thing you can do is to apply early, which will narrow the pool of applicants with which the department compares your credentials. In addition to applying early, any of the following will help improve your application:
- Clear research preferences
- Both general and subject GRE scores (latter only applies to Physics/Applied Physics, not required for Astronomy)
- Research experience
- Academic awards and prizes
- High GPA
- Scholarly presentations and publications
The GRE is offered internationally in some areas. Information on the General and Physics Subject GRE can be found on the Educational Testing Services (ETS) website.
Upload whatever information you have, even unofficial information/documents. This can include your personal score report from ETS and your unofficial grade report from your current university. If you receive and accepted an offer from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, your official documents (scores, transcripts, etc.) will be verified by the Office of Admissions. If your official scores and grades do not match the documents that you submitted, your application may be subject to rejection.
The department does not employ “cut offs” for test scores or undergraduate GPAs, but evaluates each application as a whole. Thus 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). For this reason, it is important to submit all relevant documents and physics-related experience (research experience, publications, etc.).
You can find more information at http://ogaps.tamu.edu/English-Language-Proficiency-Requirements.
If you discover a particular research group that catches your interest, you can let the department know in your Personal Statement or by sending an email to email@example.com. Please refrain from sending solicitous emails to multiple faculty members. The Graduate Admissions Committee will happily pass on your inquiries to the appropriate research group.
If you have information to add to your application after it has been submitted, such as a new project, publication or accolade, send any relevant documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate the faculty to whom it should be forwarded (if applicable).
The Department has created a Ph.D. in Applied Physics, to provide curriculum and research opportunities for students who wish to use physics in the development of new technology. A number of faculty conduct projects in applied physics that are related to their basic research interests, including those listed here.
The stipend amount for a Teaching Assistant, effective the end of August 2018, will be $2,000 per month. Most admitted students will also receive either full or partial tuition remission from the department.
In addition to Teaching Assistantships, 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.
If you believe you may be eligible for a Diversity fellowship, please briefly include your reasoning in an email to email@example.com.
All students are eligible for Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships after their first year; however, Teaching Assistantships are limited and are awarded based on various criteria. Students are encouraged to begin building relationships with faculty in their field of interest in their first year in order to secure a Research Assistantship by the end of their second year.
The department strives to support all of the graduate students it admits, which is why students are admitted based largely on the needs of individual research groups. The vast majority receive support.
The English Language Proficiency Examination (ELPE) is an exam given by the university. International students with low TOEFL scores and who have not obtained English Proficiency Verification or Certification by other means (GRE/GMAT scores, U.S. master’s degree or higher) are required to pass this exam before they are allowed to serve as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. For more information, please visit the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.
Students who do not pass the ELPE on their first try will be required to take English Language Proficiency courses through the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and will be placed in these courses based on their ELPE scores. Students must complete these courses and be certified by the CTE to teach in English before serving as a Teaching Assistant.
Admitted Students FAQs
Applicants are encouraged to visit campus. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about a visit and make arrangements.
No. Students are encouraged to begin building relationships with faculty in their field of interest their first year in order to secure a Research Assistantship by the end of their second year.
You will forfeit your spot in our incoming class if you fail to accept your offer of admission before April 15. Requests for extensions are occasionally granted for extenuating circumstances.
Requests for extensions are considered, but generally students are not encouraged to defer their admission. If you have been awarded a fellowship from the university, your fellowship may not be deferred, and you will need to reapply for admission and your fellowship the next year if you choose not to enroll this year.
If you are considering deferring your enrollment, please contact the department to discuss your decision as soon as possible. Waiting too long can limit your options.
Both on-campus and off-campus housing is available to incoming graduate students. For more information about on-campus housing, visit the University Apartments website.
When you accept your offer of admission, the University will send you an off-campus housing guide to help you make your housing decision. If you have not yet made up your mind to attend Texas A&M and would like more information about off-campus housing, please contact us at email@example.com.
All decisions must be signed and returned by April 15 to be considered valid (mail and email are both acceptable). If you have mailed your decision but fear it may not arrive before April 15, you may send a scanned copy of your form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Incoming Students FAQs
U.S. citizens and permanent residents: Please contact the department in July or early August to schedule a mid to late August advising appointment for check-in with one of our Academic Advisors. At this time, you will register for classes (if you haven’t already), and take care of other relevant paperwork. You must have all registration holds cleared before you can register.
International students: The university has an orientation and check-in program you must attend. Additionally, you will need to contact the department to schedule an advising appointment with one of our Academic Advisors. During your departmental check-in, you will register for classes (if you haven’t already), and take care of other relevant paperwork. You must have all registration holds cleared before you can register.
All students (Domestic and International) are required to complete Teaching Assistant (TA) training. You will receive an email from our admissions coordinator with the details.
Department Orientation: The Department of Physics and Astronomy hosts an orientation for all domestic and international incoming graduate students. The event is usually held a week or two before classes begin. You will receive an email from our admissions coordinator with the time and location of the orientation.
Most students have a Research Assistantship (RA), Graduate Assistantship – Teaching (GAT), or a Graduate Assistantship – Non-Teaching (GANT). You will receive the details of your payment schedule and set up your payroll preferences (direct deposit, etc.) when you check in.
There are a limited number of Teaching Assistantships available which are awarded based on merit. Research Assistantships depend on the funds of the Research Advisor. It is recommended that you start as early as possible to secure support if you wish to work during the summer.
Yes, you may switch research groups if you find a project that interests you outside of your group. This arrangement must be worked out between you, your current advisor, and the advisor you wish to work for. However, switching research groups more than once, or switching late in your academic career is strongly discouraged – you do not want to fall behind in your research.
You can view general degree requirements on our Degree Plans page. You should also meet with your graduate advisor before registration to map out your personal degree plan.
Graduate level credits rarely transfer from other institutions. If you have taken a graduate level course, you may petition for permission to take the final exam for the equivalent TAMU class to receive credit for qualifying courses only. Feel free to discuss your options with an advisor when registering for your first semester courses.
The length of time it takes to get a Ph.D. depends on many factors. Typically, students working in an experimental setting take longer on average than those working in a theory group. Some students take 4 years; most are done before 7 years.