Program Information:

Program Statement:
    At ISU we are dedicated to your success as a graduate student. As a first step, we have collected information on application requirements as well as links where you can find further information. We encourage you to explore.
Degrees Offered:
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Master of Science (M.S.)
Program Handbook(s):
Learning Goals:
  • Conduct original research. Our graduate students will conduct high-quality, original research in a specific field of physics/astronomy. This includes developing the ability to understand scholarly literature, to articulate research objectives, and to interpret research results appropriately.
  • Learning Goal 2 - Attain knowledge of physics/astronomy. Our graduate students will obtain a sound foundation in advanced physics/astronomy and in the advanced experimental, observational, and computational techniques required for their research. They will also obtain a broad understanding of other fields of physics/astronomy beyond their research specialty.
  • Develop professionalism. Our graduate students will conduct scholarship and teaching, in teams or independently, in ways that consistently demonstrate ethical practice and integrity. They will develop proficiency in written and verbal communication of complex scientific topics at the level required for presenting results in refereed journals and at scientific conferences.
How long does it take to earn a degree?
  • Median time to earn the doctorate: 7.6 years (Methods)
  • Median time to earn the master’s: 0.6 year (Methods)

Program Contact:

Contact: Charles Kerton or Valerie Arnold
Phone: 515-294-4936
E-mail Address:

Mailing Address:

    Department of Physics and Astronomy, Graduate Admissions
    12 Physics Building
    2323 Osborn Drive
    Iowa State University
    Ames, IA 50011-1026

Admission Requirements:

Graduate College Requirements:
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.
Program Specific Requirements:
  • GRE General and Subject Tests are optional
  • Statement of Goals/Interests (if not submitted electronically)
  • All program required supplemental materials are to be uploaded as PDF documents into the online application system. If for some reason you are unable to upload, you may email documents to or postal mail to the address below.
  • A limited number of admission fee waivers will be available. See department website for details.
  • Program Requires GRE: No
  • Program Requires GMAT: No
  • Program Will Review Without TOEFL or IELTS: No
International Requirements:
  • Financial Statement: Application
  • English Proficiency Minimum:
    TOEFL Paper (PBT) 550
    TOEFL Internet (iBT) 79
    IELTS 6.5
    PTE 53
    Duolingo (approved through spring 2025) 105

Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
    January 15th for fall admission
Application Details:
    This program is open to domestic and international students.

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