How do I apply for admission? Please visit the GSAS Application Resource Center, which includes a step-by-step instructional guide and FAQ pages. We recommend that you look over this site carefully before contacting the Graduate School or the Department, as you will likely find answers to your questions here: GSAS Application Resource Center.
Did you receive my application materials? Please use the Supporting Materials Tracking System (SMTS) to find out which of your application supporting materials have been received by Graduate Enrollment Services. Do not contact the Department directly to verify if your materials were received. http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/request/smts.html
My official score reports for the GRE General/GRE Physics will arrive after deadline. Will my application still be considered? It is in the applicant’s best interest to schedule for exams far in advance of the application deadline so that score reports arrive by deadline. Although we do accept late score reports, please bear in mind that only a limited number of admission offers will be made and that successful applications are selected on a very competitive basis. We begin making admission decisions on complete applications immediately after the application deadline.
Can you tell me if I should apply to your graduate program given my qualifications? Please do not send pre-application materials to our Department by email (e.g., resumes, statements, test scores, and grades). Many factors are considered in determining your eligibility for admission. We cannot adequately address all the nuances specific to each applicant based on incomplete and unofficial information.
Here are some suggestions on how to strengthen your application:
obtain strong letters from recommenders, preferably academics who have worked with you on a personal level and can attest to the quality of your work and your accomplishments. We especially appreciate research experience.
your personal statement should be equally strong, balanced with a clear and confident message as to your interests, experience, and goals.
you will be competing with a pool of candidates who generally hold high GRE and GPA scores. We look for strong quantitative skills in our applicants. But we know that scores and grades alone do not give a full picture of an applicant’s qualifications. Very supportive letters of recommendation and a strong statement can compensate for other factors.
Do you have a minimum score requirement? There is no minimum score requirement for admission. High scores do not guarantee admission, just as lower scores do not render applicants ineligible.
Do you offer a tour of the Department? Can I meet with faculty to discuss my research interests before applying? We cannot accommodate individual requests for tours of our department. Applicants are always welcome to schedule a meeting with our Graduate Program Administrator (EvetteMa@nyu.edu) to discuss our program. Individual faculty members can on occasion meet with potential applicants to discuss research opportunities. Because graduate students must complete required elements of the doctoral program before being inducted to a research group, such meetings do not influence the admissions process, nor do they imply a future commitment on either side.
How many students apply to your program, and how many do you offer admission to? The graduate program in Physics receives over 200 applications per year and typically makes 50 offers of admission.
Can you send me a profile of your past admission statistics? Of the students we have admitted in the last 4 years, we’ve averaged a class of 31% females, 49% international students, and average scores of GREQ: 162, GREV: 163, GREPhys: 865. We received 230-288 applications and offered admission to 45-51 applicants.
What is the status of my application and when will I receive an admission decision? Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis and continue through to the end of March – early April. Please do not contact the Department for a status update. Also note that admission decisions are never discussed over the phone.
Do you accept applications for the spring term? No. We only accept students for the Fall.
Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in Physics in order to apply? It is important for students to have a strong background in Physics before entering the graduate program. However, it is not a requirement to hold an undergraduate degree in Physics. The department decides on a case-by-case basis whether an applicant is likely to succeed in required core courses based on prior preparation. A successful candidate must demonstrate an understanding of subjects such as Classical Mechanics, Electricity & Magnetism, Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Physics, and Dynamics. Your Physics GRE score would help us in determining aptitude in these subjects, but it is only one of many factors used in determining eligibility for admission.
Can the GRE or Language Tests be waived? No. GRE General and GRE Physics official scores are an absolute requirement for admission. Likewise, non-native English speakers without a degree from an accredited American University are required to submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores. The language testing requirement is waived if your baccalaureate or master’s degree was (or will be) completed at an institution where the language of instruction is English.
Does being accepted to the Masters program increase my chances of being accepted into the PhD program? You should not consider entering our Masters Program as a “back-door” route to our PhD program. Masters students who wish to pursue a PhD with us would have to apply to our PhD program and have their application considered alongside our entire applicant pool.
Is financial aid available to students in the Masters program? Financial support for Masters students come in the form of adjunct teaching positions and research assistantships. These positions are not guaranteed, but are based on availability and qualifications of the student. In general, MS students can expect to finance their studies through federal financial aid, loans, and/or external awards.
Please visit the GSAS Financial Aid webpage for more information on how to finance your graduate education and for a list of tuition and fees.
Do I qualify for an application fee waiver due to financial hardship? The Department cannot waive application fees. GSAS does offer a waiver for the admissions application fee under certain limited conditions to applicants who participate in certain programs. You can find additional information on fee waivers by visiting the GSAS Application Policies page.
Can I be waived from required graduate courses if I've already taken the same courses at another institution?
A student who has already taken a course elsewhere equivalent to one of our core courses may satisfy that portion of the core course requirement in one of two ways:
by achieving a grade of B or better in the relevant preliminary examination given just before the start of the fall and spring terms. Quantum Mechanics 1 and Dynamics exams are offered late August – early September, and Quantum Mechanics 2, Statistical Physics, and Electromagnetism exams are offered in late January. Each examination covers the material of the corresponding course at the level of the midterm and final examinations. The format of the examination in Computation Physics will be determined by the course instructor. It may involve take-home projects as well as an explanation of computer codes developed.
Students holding an MS degree or equivalent degree who cannot attend the fall semester preliminary exams can ask the Director of Graduate Studies to be excused from some or all of the fall semester core courses. Such students must submit transcripts and syllabi from their institution of origin, proving that they have successfully completed courses analog to our core courses. The Graduate Studies Committee will evaluate those documents and the teachers of fall semester core courses shall interview the students. The Graduate Studies Committee may elect also to further test the student by an oral exam.
Can I be waived from the GRE requirement? Or may I submit unofficial scores now and then submit official scores only if I get admitted? We do not waive the GRE requirement except in absolutely exceptional circumstances. Missing the deadline for taking the exam is not among them. You can still submit your application pending official scores, but you must understand that we can only make offers on COMPLETE applications. You would also be at a great disadvantage without scores, in a competition where all other applicants do have complete applications for us to evaluate.