Program Information

Nurture your curiosity with some of the brightest minds in the field. Many research-intensive opportunities exist in the Michigan Tech Department of Physics to prepare your mind. Graduate students can customize their degree with the applied physics option or choose the pure physics focus. Those interested in the atmosphere can choose to create an interdisciplinary study.

In addition to our graduate degree program, the Department of Physics offers graduate certificates for those who wish to earn academic credentials with about nine coursework credits per certificate. Current graduate students can earn these credentials simultaneously with their graduate degrees.

Michigan Tech undergraduates can complete their Master's Degree alongside their Bachelor's in only one additional year by taking advantage of the Accelerated Master's Program.

Red laser in a physics laboratory

Applied Physics—Accelerated MS, MS, PhD

Explore new functional nanomaterials. As the most flexible yet specialized program of study, students design a degree tailored to their interests in an interdisciplinary research area: atmospheric science, nanoscale physics, materials science, condensed matter, biomedical science, photonics, or optoelectronics.

Four Grad students talking with faculty in a physics lab with small cloud chamber

Physics—Accelerated MS, MS, PhD

Investigate the properties of molecules in electrical discharges. In the physics program of study, graduate students work side-by-side with research faculty to innovate in areas such as atomic and molecular laser spectroscopy, gamma-ray emission and bursts, single-electron transport devices, the dielectric response of molecules under external electrostatic fields, molecular electronics devices, and more.

Graduate student standing over computer while another sits inside the Cloud Chamber laboratory

Atmospheric Sciences (Interdisciplinary)—PhD

Discover the role turbulence plays in cloud formation. In the atmospheric sciences program, students can choose to study under one or more of the program’s 12 faculty in five departments across campus. Current research areas of focus include atmospheric interactions with other parts of the Earth’s system, the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere, and climate change.

Researcher with telescope

Graduate Certificates

Prepare yourself to explore future science and technology with our interdisciplinary graduate certificate program. These certificates allow students to learn beyond their graduate research, with four specific themes on Advanced Computational Physics, Frontiers in Optics and Photonics, Big Data Statistics in Astrophysics, and Frontiers in Materials Physics.

Want to Travel to a Black Hole?

Ever wonder what it would look like to travel to a black hole? Due to strong gravity, light paths significantly alter and conditions would indeed look strange—the whole sky would be visible as stars behind the black hole would have their light bent and the sky would appear distorted. This video is a scientifically-accurate animation of what it would look like to orbit a black hole from a distance. By Robert Nemiroff, professor of physics at Michigan Tech.

Recent Graduate Student Research

Coming to Michigan Tech from all over the country and beyond, students in the Physics Department are a diverse group. Their research interests are equally diverse, revealed in the abstracts of their theses and dissertations. Whether it is investigating heterogeneous ice nucleation in supercooled droplets resting on cold substrates under two different dynamic conditions or tracking reduction of transmission loss in optical fibers our graduate students innovate and join other physicists in becoming top researchers in their fields. 

Graduate Researcher Highlight


Applications are reviewed on an individual basis using a holistic approach. Specific requirements for the applied physics and physics programs include:

  • Statement of purpose
  • GRE: Not required due to COVID-19.
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale 
  • TOEFL of 88 or IELTS of 6.5 (for international students who graduated from a program with a teaching language other than English)

Additional requirements for the Atmospheric Science Program include:

  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in the physical sciences or engineering
  • Mathematics through ordinary differential equations


Ranjit Pati

Ranjit Pati


Yoke Khin Yap

Yoke Khin Yap

Applied Physics

Raymond Shaw

Raymond Shaw

Atmospheric Physics

Megan Johnson

Megan Johnson

Graduate Program Coordinator

Graduate Events