Department Graduate Admissions Information

Applications for the Graduate Program in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at KU are made through the Office of Graduate Studies. Start the Application Process. For those of you that have applied, the department releases their first round of offer letters towards the end of January. Individuals that receive an offer have until the national deadline of April 15th to accept or decline the offer. After April 15th the admissions committee will revisit availability and determine if a second round of offers can be made.

Application Fees:

Domestic - $65.00

International - $85.00

To submit an application fee waiver request, please complete the fee waiver request form located on the graduate admissions website.

Requirements for regular admission:

All students admitted to the MS, MS/PhD, or PhD program must meet the University's requirements for regular admission.

  1. Bachelor's Degree or Higher
  2. English proficiency that meets the requirements for Regular Admission (non-native English speakers only)

When to apply

To ensure full consideration, apply before the application submission date. Letters of recommendation should be submitted before the application deadline. Incomplete applications may not be considered.

  • For 2023 (spring 2024 admission), expected submission date for Spring admission is September 1st.
  • For 2023 (fall 2024 admission), expected submission date for Fall admission is December 15th.
  • Applications submitted by these dates will be given full consideration; late applications may also be accepted. To submit an application after the deadline, please contact the department email address at

Application materials

Please upload ALL documents specified below at the time of application submission. Additional materials provided after the online application process (by email or post) may or may not be considered. We will review your application only after the application is complete.

  • Transcripts A scanned version of the transcript from your undergraduate and any post-Bachelor institution(s). If admitted, you will be required to submit official transcripts by the end of your first semester at KU to avoid having a hold placed on your student account. Review the KU Transcript requirement for more information, especially for International Applicants who may need to provide additional documentation.
  • Statement of Purpose A single document also including: academic interests and professional goals.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Recommendations. You will be asked for the names and email addresses of three people who can write a recommendation letter describing your qualifications for graduate school in physics and astronomy. Once you submit the application, an email will be sent to each recommender requesting a letter and electronic survey from each person that you name.
  • GRE Scores are not required. A scanned version of your score report may be submitted if you wish, but this is not required.
  • GRE Subject Score (Physics) are not required. If you choose to submit your score, a scanned version of your score report is acceptable for review. Admitted students who take the GRE and achieve a score of 650 or higher will be exempt from taking the Department's Diagnostic Exam during Orientation.

Note: If you choose to take the GRE and or GRE Subject Examinations, you will be asked to choose an “Intended Graduate Major” code.  There are about 10 different codes to choose from. To ensure that your scores are sent to our Department, please choose “Physics – 0808”. 

ETS Codes for submitting original GRE Score Reports

Institution: 6871

Department: 0808


Application Review:

  • Applications will be reviewed by a committee of faculty (typically three), but may involve discussions with others.
  • Evaluation uses a weighted rubric as well as subsequent discussion by the committee. 
  • As of 2023, the rubric categories (in no particular order) include:
    • Service & Broader Impacts
    • Program Fit
    • Academic Preparation
    • Research Experience/Potential
    • Long Term Goals

International Applicants

  • Proof of English proficiency. Please review the requirements for admissions and employment and the KU Policy Library. To be considered for GTA/GRA support, you must be admitted on Regular Admission/Status. A scanned version of your score report is acceptable for review; however, an official score report is required before admission can be offered. For non-native English speakers, if you are unable to take the TOEFL or the IELTS exam due to constraints imposed by the pandemic, please feel free to let us know at Depending on your situation, we would work with you to see if the English proficiency requirement can be fulfilled in an alternative way.
  • Foreign GPA. Please include your U.S. GPA equivalent by using this grade conversion tool. Otherwise delays could be expected for processing of your application.

ETS Codes for submitting original iBT TOEFL Score Reports:

Institution: 6871

Department: 76

Please upload ALL documents specified above at the time of application submission. Additional materials provided after the online application process (by email or post) will not be considered. We will review your application only after the application process is complete.

Financial Preparation

It is recommended that students plan on bringing at least a month's worth of funds (approximately $1500-2000 for Lawrence) to be financially comfortable during their first month as a graduate student.

International students are encouraged to read the International Student Services website for an in-depth guide on planning your arrival.

The Department or individual faculty members might be able to provide partial support for traveling or relocation costs for incoming graduate students.

Additional Information

Please contact the Graduate Coordinator with any questions about graduate applications and admissions. You can reach them via the department email account at When contacting via email, please put "Admission/Application Inquiry" in the subject line.

For questions on graduate research opportunities, please contact the graduate recruitment committee at or any faculty members directly.