Graduate School

Applied Physics—MS, PhD

What you'll work on

Applied physics bridges the gap between physics, engineering, and other sciences. While engineers solve well-defined problems, applied physicists focus on applying physics interdisciplinarily. At Michigan Technological University, the applied physics program targets areas such as nanoscale condensed matter, materials science, atmospheric physics, optics/photonics, optoelectronics, plasmonics, and biomedical science.  

Students choosing the applied physics major create a customized program of study. In addition to taking some core graduate level physics courses, students choose from a wider selection of courses, inside and outside the Department of Physics to gain specialized knowledge in their chosen interdisciplinary research area.

Sample Areas of Interest

  • Astrophysics
  • Atmospheric Physics
  • Photonics and Quantum Optics
  • Materials Physics - Experimental

View full listing for this program.

Who you'll work with

The department is home to 23 active research faculty, and we have strong interdisciplinary collaborations with other departments and institutes including Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics.

Faculty Spotlight

Petra Huentemeyer

Petra Huentemeyer



"We are shedding light on dark matter and other unsolved puzzles of our Universe."

Where and how are cosmic rays produced and accelerated to their states of high energy? The study of gamma rays provides a crucial piece of the puzzle. By measuring energy spectra, source morphologies, and spatial correlation of source wavelengths, we are trying to solve the century-old puzzle of the origin of galactic cosmic rays.


Where you'll work

The physics department boasts exceptional research labs and facilities. A recent $2.5 million renovation provided major upgrades in physics classroom technology, and a new $700,000 gift is enabling a major upgrade to physics research facilities. Physics hosts seven labs, ranging from computer labs with state-of-the-art software packages to atomic and molecular laser spectroscopy labs. Researchers also have access to other departments’ research labs, including scanning electron microscopy labs and other advanced characterization and fabrication facilities.