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Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in Physics or a related field with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 out of 4 (letter grade of B). If the degree is in physics, undergraduate coursework would normally include upper-level classes in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and thermodynamics and statistical mechanics (thermal physics).
  • The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is required. The GRE Physics Subject Test is recommended. GRE may be waived for exceptional candidates.
  • 3 Letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of purpose. As guidance, the statement should address the following points, when relevant:
    1. Why do you wish to study physics?
    2. What skills or experiences particularly qualify you?
    3. Give an example of some difficulty you have had to overcome in your studies so far.
    4. If you have pursued extracurricular interests (e.g., music, chess) or a previous career over an extended period of time, please describe them.
    5. If you have already contacted a professor at USF about possible research, please indicate this.
    6. If you will already have earned a master's degree at an institution that offers a doctorate in physics, please describe the circumstances that led you to leave that institution and apply to USF. You should also ask your letter-writers to address this.
  • Students from non-English speaking countries are required to demonstrate proficiency in English via the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or one of several alternatives: please read carefully the graduate school's language requirements.

Application Procedure and Checklist

  1. Submit the online Graduate Admission Application for the University of South Florida via During this process, you will be asked to pay a one-time application fee of $30.00 by credit card (Master Card, Visa, or Discover) or e-check.
  2. Once you have paid the application fee and have a U-number, complete the department's on-line form.
    The on-line form will ask you to upload a statement of purpose (see guidelines above) as well as unofficial copies of test scores and transcripts. In case of any difficulty, please contact us at the address below.

    James Kersey, Academic Program Specialist
    Department of Physics, ISA 2019
    University of South Florida
    4202 East Fowler Avenue
    Tampa, FL 33620-7100

  3. Ask the Educational Testing Service to send your GRE scores to the University of South Florida (code 5828), Department of Physics (department code 0808).
  4. Ask your previous academic institutions (undergraduate or master's level, including Diploma, Laurea, etc.), to mail official transcripts to the department address above.
  5. If English is not your first language, ask for TOEFL scores or other documentation (see above under Admission Requirements) to be sent to USF.
  6. African American or Hispanic U.S. citizen applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for McKnight Doctoral Fellowships at

Application Deadlines

  Priority Deadlines
Fall Admissions: February 1
Spring Admissions*: September 1

* Most students apply for fall, not spring, admission. If you do plan to apply for spring admission, you should contact the associate director for admissions (below) in advance.

For Admissions Information