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Graduate Program in Physics

A way to see the world in a grain of sand.

Graduate Program in Physics

A way to see the world in a grain of sand.

Student repairing laser equipment in lab

Graduate students in physics learn from world-class physicists in a vibrant and diverse department comprising a broad range of experimental and theoretical physics. The Graduate Program has 40 graduate students and 17 faculty. The Department of Physics awards M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics. Our physics faculty are internationally recognized for leading research programs in condensed matter experiment and theory, optical physics, biophysics, astrophysics, gravitational wave physics, quantum cosmology and quantum physics, high energy physics and physics education research. Physics graduate students participate in a rigorous and wide-ranging program of study that affords them numerous opportunities to present their research at national and international conferences as well as research internships in labs beyond OSU.

Doctoral students receive financial support, including health insurance, through research and teaching assistantships. In addition, several graduate students receive prestigious university fellowships and other external awards. Our graduate students are very successful in finding jobs in leading research labs, academia and in technology sectors.

Meet our students and alumni

Oregon State alum plays integral role in Perseverance landing

2005 physics alumna and planetary geologist Briony Horgan's research was key to determining the location on Mars for the Perseverance rover to explore. Explaining the challenge her team faced, she said, "“If we had to choose just one spot on Earth to gather all the data about the entire history of the planet — well, where would you go?”

Meet a Science Grad - Drew Haven

Meet Drew Haven, physics and engineering physics graduate and current Research & Development Manager for Saint-Gobain Crystals.  

Two physics graduate students win 2019 NASA grants

Two College of Science graduate students have received prestigious NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology awards in 2019.

Physics student wins national award, fellowship

Bethany Matthews, a physics graduate student, won a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research Award.

Physics alum honored by President Obama

Brian Hanna (Physics M.S. '91) is a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

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