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How to Apply

For admission to our graduate program (M.S. or Ph.D.), you must complete the online WVU Graduate Application for Admission. Continue reading for guidance on preparing your application, deadline information, and requirements for international applicants.

  • Deadline to Submit an Application: December 15

Application Process

T o be given full consideration for admission the following August, all required application materials should be completed by December 15.  Applications received after this date will only be considered if positions are available.  Submitted transcripts and English proficiency scores take time for our admissions team to process, so please send these well in advance of the deadline. 

In addition to WVU’s  general admission requirements, applicants to either degree program are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in physics, astronomy, or a related field, with upper-division courses in electricity and magnetism, mechanics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and mathematical methods.  Accepted applicants who lack some of these courses may be asked to remedy the deficiencies by enrolling in additional courses here at WVU. Students who hold an undergraduate degree in a field other than physics or astronomy, or who believe that their undergraduate GPA does not reflect their physics knowledge, are encouraged to submit subject GRE scores. 

International Applicants

International applicants should  view additional requirements from WVU Graduate AdmissionsIn the U.S. system, prospective graduate students apply to the university rather than directly to a professor. Individual professors do not make admissions decisions. Directly contacting a professor is not necessary to secure funding before applying to WVU. 

The department aims to provide all first-year doctoral students will receive a Teaching Assistantship (TA) and a waiver of University tuition. Some additional fees are not covered by the tuition waiver. Subsequent years may be funded by TA duties or by an RA position (also receiving a tuition waiver), which depends on the funding available in a research group.

In order to be employed as a TA, international students must meet English language proficiency requirements. Please refer to WVU Graduate Admissions for the most up-to-date information regarding language proficiency examination options and proficiency requirements for GTAs. 

Preparing Your Graduate Application

The online graduate application will request:

  1. Demographic information.
  2. Information from previously attended colleges and universities, including transcripts. WVU will review your application based on unofficial transcripts. You can upload unofficial transcripts with your application. If the Department approves your admission, you will need to provide official transcripts.
  3. Unofficial test scores, but neither general nor physics subject GRE scores are required for our program.  Both tests are optional, and their scores can be self-reported. For officially reported scores, WVU's ETS code is 5904 and the Physics & Astronomy department code is 1463.
  4. Information on research areas of interest to you. Our department has specialties in astronomy/astrophysics, plasma physics, condensed matter physics, and physics education research.
  5. A statement of purpose that should:
    1. Convince a faculty committee that you are qualified for the M.S. or Ph.D. program and that you are a good fit for the department's focus and goals.
    2. Show a select group of skills and experiences that convey your scientific and technical accomplishments and interests.
    3. Include concrete and quantitative experiences, accomplishments, and qualifications. See the  MIT CommKit for guidance on crafting a statement of purpose.
  6. Your resume/CV.
  7. Contact information for three people who will submit letters of reference on your behalf.

Questions? Contact Us! Back to the Graduate Student Handbook