Physics Graduate Admissions FAQ

  1. How do I apply for admission?
  2. Did you receive my application materials?
  3. My official score reports for the GRE General/GRE Physics will arrive after deadline. Will my application still be considered?
  4. Can you tell me if I should apply to your graduate program given my qualifications?
  5. Do you have a minimum score requirement?
  6. Do you offer a tour of the Department? Can I meet with faculty to discuss my research interests before applying?
  7. How many students apply to your program, and how many do you offer admission to?
  8. Can you send me a profile of your past admission statistics?
  9. What is the status of my application and when will I receive an admission decision?
  10. Do you accept applications for the spring term?
  11. Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in Physics in order to apply?
  12. Can the GRE or Language Tests be waived?
  13. Does being accepted to the Masters program increase my chances of being accepted into the PhD program?
  14. Is financial aid available to students in the Masters program?
  15. Do I qualify for an application fee waiver due to financial hardship?

  1. How do I apply for admission?
    Please visit the GSAS Application Resource Center, which includes a step-by-step instructional guide and FAQ pages. We recommend that you look over this site carefully before contacting the Graduate School or the Department, as you will likely find answers to your questions here: http://gsas.nyu.edu/page/grad.admissionsapplication.
  2. Did you receive my application materials?
    Please use the Supporting Materials Tracking System (SMTS) to find out which of your application supporting materials have been received by Graduate Enrollment Services. Do not contact the Department directly to verify if your materials were received.
    http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/request/smts.html
  3. My official score reports for the GRE General/GRE Physics will arrive after deadline. Will my application still be considered?
    It is in the applicant’s best interest to schedule for exams far in advance of the application deadline so that score reports arrive by deadline. Although we do accept late score reports, please bear in mind that only a limited number of admission offers will be made and that successful applications are selected on a very competitive basis. We begin making admission decisions on complete applications immediately after the application deadline.
  4. Can you tell me if I should apply to your graduate program given my qualifications?
    Please do not send pre-application materials to our Department by email (e.g., resumes, statements, test scores, and grades). Many factors are considered in determining your eligibility for admission. We cannot adequately address all the nuances specific to each applicant based on incomplete and unofficial information.
    Here are some suggestions on how to strengthen your application:
    1. obtain strong letters from recommenders, preferably academics who have worked with you on a personal level and can attest to the quality of your work and your accomplishments. We especially appreciate research experience.
    2. your personal statement should be equally strong, balanced with a clear and confident message as to your interests, experience, and goals.
    3. you will be competing with a pool of candidates who generally hold high GRE and GPA scores. We look for strong quantitative skills in our applicants. But we know that scores and grades alone do not give a full picture of an applicant’s qualifications. Very supportive letters of recommendation and a strong statement can compensate for other factors.
  5. Do you have a minimum score requirement?
    There is no minimum score requirement for admission. High scores do not guarantee admission, just as lower scores do not render applicants ineligible.
  6. Do you offer a tour of the Department? Can I meet with faculty to discuss my research interests before applying?
    We cannot accommodate individual requests for tours of our department. Applicants are always welcome to schedule a meeting with our Graduate Program Administrator (EvetteMa@nyu.edu) to discuss our program. Individual faculty members can on occasion meet with potential applicants to discuss research opportunities. Because graduate students must complete required elements of the doctoral program before being inducted to a research group, such meetings do not influence the admissions process, nor do they imply a future commitment on either side.
  7. How many students apply to your program, and how many do you offer admission to?
    The graduate program in Physics receives over 200 applications per year and typically makes 50 offers of admission.
  8. Can you send me a profile of your past admission statistics?
    Of the students we have admitted in the last 4 years, we’ve averaged a class of 31% females, 49% international students, and average scores of GREQ: 162, GREV: 163, GREPhys: 865. We received 230-288 applications and offered admission to 45-51 applicants.
  9. What is the status of my application and when will I receive an admission decision?
    Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis and continue through to the end of March – early April. Please do not contact the Department for a status update. Also note that admission decisions are never discussed over the phone.
  10. Do you accept applications for the spring term?
    No. We only accept students for the Fall.
  11. Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in Physics in order to apply?
    It is important for students to have a strong background in Physics before entering the graduate program. However, it is not a requirement to hold an undergraduate degree in Physics. The department decides on a case-by-case basis whether an applicant is likely to succeed in required core courses based on prior preparation.. A successful candidate must demonstrate an understanding of subjects such as Classical Mechanics, Electricity & Magnetism, Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Physics, and Dynamics. Your Physics GRE score would help us in determining aptitude in these subjects, but it is only one of many factors used in determining eligibility for admission.
  12. Can the GRE or Language Tests be waived?
    No. GRE General and GRE Physics official scores are an absolute requirement for admission. Likewise, non-native English speakers without a degree from an accredited American University are required to submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores. The language testing requirement is waived if your baccalaureate or master’s degree was (or will be) completed at an institution where the language of instruction is English.
  13. Does being accepted to the Masters program increase my chances of being accepted into the PhD program?
    You should not consider entering our Masters Program as a “back-door” route to our PhD program. Masters students who wish to pursue a PhD with us would have to apply to our PhD program and have their application considered alongside our entire applicant pool.
  14. Is financial aid available to students in the Masters program?
    Financial support for Masters students come in the form of adjunct teaching positions and research assistantships. These positions are not guaranteed, but are based on availability and qualifications of the student. In general, MS students can expect to finance their studies through federal financial aid, loans, and/or external awards.

    Please visit the GSAS Financial Aid webpage for more information on how to finance your graduate education and for a list of tuition and fees. http://gsas.nyu.edu/page/grad.financialaid.html
  15. Do I qualify for an application fee waiver due to financial hardship?
    The Department cannot waive application fees. GSAS does offer a waiver for the admissions application fee under certain limited conditions to applicants who participate in certain programs. You can find additional information on fee waivers by visiting the GSAS Application Policies page: http://gsas.nyu.edu/object/grad.app.policies