Graduate Division

Chemical and Materials Physics - Physics MS

Section 1


The Department of Physics and Astronomy is home to a broad and vibrant research program covering many of the key directions in modern physics and astronomy.  From understanding emergent properties of complex systems to divining deep insights into the nature of the Universe, our research charts the course for the world of tomorrow.

Our graduate programs include approximately 150 graduate students pursuing experimental and theoretical work leading to MS and PhD degrees in Physics (including specializations in Astrophysics, Biophysics, Condensed Matter physics, Elementary Particle physics, and Plasma physics) and in Chemical and Materials Physics (ChaMP).

What Sets Us Apart?

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at UC Irvine is known for the excellence of its research and high academic standards and integrity.  Despite being one of the most recently founded major public universities, we are consistently ranked among the top departments worldwide.  Our roughly 50 faculty members pursue ground breaking research and play leading roles in the fields of Astrophysics, Biophysics, Condensed Matter physics, Elementary Particle physics, and Plasma physics, with a great deal of collaboration and overlapping research interests across the various groups and with faculty in the Departments of Chemistry, Math, Earth System Science, and Computer Science.  A number of our faculty are members of the National Academy of Sciences and/or recipients of high profile professional awards.

Our graduate program offers PhD and MS degrees in Physics and Chemical and Materials Physics through a flexible program that provides a broad, advanced education while allowing the opportunity to focus on specialized interests via a mixture of graduate lecture courses, research training, and other career development resources.  Our commitment to inclusive excellence is reflected by our diverse graduate student body.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Academic Master's Program

Normative Time to Degree

2 years

Capstone Type

MS Physics: Research Project and Written Thesis OR Comprehensive Exam

MS Physics-ChaMP: Thesis

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

Applications are submitted online through the UCI Graduate Division Admissions website. More information on the applications process and required application materials can be found on the Applying to UCI page. The application deadline is January 1

Domestic Applicants (U.S. Citizens and Permanent U.S. Residents): $105
For details regarding application fee waivers, please visit the Graduate Division website:

International Applicants: $125 (Foreign applicants are NOT eligible for graduate application fee waivers - no exceptions.)

In addition to the application essays and other material submitted through the application web portal, the following are required for all applicants.

  • Official transcripts  - ONE COPY - from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended (Foreign students' transcripts must be in their home language, as well as translated into English)
  • Official General GRE scores - taken within five years of date of entry
  • Three letters of recommendation.

Recommendation letters are usually submitted electronically, although it is possible to submit hardcopies by postal mail if necessary. For more information and instructions regarding electronic and postal letter submission, please visit:

Additional Materials for International and Permanent Resident Applicants only:

Applicants whose primary language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in English for admission consideration by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL) Internet-based Test (iBT) or a paper-based test (PBT) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

PLEASE NOTE: International Student applicants are required to be eligible to serve as teaching assistants. Students with a score of 26 or higher on the Speaking component of the TOEFL iBT or a score of 8 or higher on the Speaking module of the IELTS are eligible to serve as teaching assistants.

For additional information about this, please visit:

Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) program

Qualifying international 1st year Ph.D. students will receive a "SEVIS Stipend" in the amount of $100. To qualify, students must have paid the SEVIS* fee, and must be enrolled at UCI for Fall quarter of their entering year - the SEVIS stipend only applies to international students.  For more information, visit:

Applicants should carefully check to make sure that all application materials are submitted by the January 20 deadline. Incomplete or late applications may not be considered.

Please contact My Banh at for any questions regarding the application process.

What are the requirements for admission to ChaMP?

Admission to the ChaMP Program (Chemical and Materials Physics) requires the successful completion of a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, and Engineering with a GPA of 3.1 or better. Additional criteria includes the applicant's undergraduate course record and letters of recommendation.

While we intend to draw students from a broad base nationally and internationally, the concentration is also well suited for students returning after experience in industry. In the latter case, work experience in physical sciences may be used as basis for partial fulfillment of admission requirements.

Communication skills in English are required for admission. The verbal core on the GRE exam is a criterion for establishing this competence. Foreign students are additionally required to submit scores of Test of Spoken English (TSE).

How do I apply to the ChaMP Program?

Students in the ChaMP program are admitted to either Physics or Chemistry Departments. Apply for admission to graduate studies to either Physics or Chemistry and indicate that you are interested in ChaMP.

Financial Support

We encourage you to learn more about the array of financial support resources, such as fellowship competitions open to incoming and current UCI students, and funding workshops and writing tutors available through the Graduate Resource CenterMaster’s students are typically self-supported but may be eligible for these resources.

For information on funding opportunities for international graduate students, read more here.

Click here to access the associated nomination and application deadlines for various fellowship opportunities.

Click here for a summary of funding eligibility for UCI graduate students who meet AB540 and/or DACA criteria.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2019-20

  Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 139.69 139.69 139.68 419.06
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
Document Fee * 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,459.18 1,459.18 1,459.18 4,377.54
Total California Resident $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.86 $ 17,726.60
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.86 $ 32,828.60


Posted 12 July 2019 at

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

* The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Jun Allard
Professor of Biophysics
Mathematical modeling of cell mechanics and cell biophysics

Ioan Andricioaei
Professor of Chemistry
Theoretical Chemistry and Biophysics

V. Ara Apkarian
Professor of Chemistry
Ultrafast dynamics in condensed matter
Shane Ardo
Professor of Chemistry
Solar Energy Conversion and Electrochemistry
Michael W. Berns
Professor of Biomedical Engineering/Beckman Laser Institute
The study of basic cellular problems from a functional and structural point of view
Donald Blake
Professor of Chemistry
Atmospheric Chemistry
Suzanne Blum
Professor of Chemistry
Optics, Nano & Quantum
Ozdal Boyraz
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Optics, Nano & Quantum

Kieron Burke
Professor of Chemistry
Heretical chemistry and condensed matter physics
Peter Burke
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Quantum electronics and high-speed semiconductor devices
Carter T. Butts
Professor of Sociology, Statistics, and EECS
Network Models, Computational and Statistical Methods
Alexander Chernyshev
Professor of Physics
Condensed Matter Physics
Philip Collins
Professor of Physics
Nano-electronics and Novel Materials
Robert Corn
Professor of Chemistry
Analytical and Physical Chemistry
Michael Dennin
Professor of Physics
Nonlinear Condensed Matter Physics and Biological Physics
Franklin Dollar
Professor of Physics
Interaction of light at extremely high intensities with the fourth state of matter, plasma
Barbara J. Finlayson-Pitts
Professor of Chemistry
Atmospheric Chemistry
Zachary Fisk
Professor of Physics
Experimental Condensed Matter
Filipp Furche
Professor of Chemistry
Random phase approximation, non-adiabatic molecular dynamics, theoretical and computational chemistry
Nien-Hui Ge
Professor of Chemistry
Multi-dimensional Infra-red Spectroscopy
Alon Gorodetsky
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Biomolecular Electronics, Cephalopod-Inspired Materials, Modular Graphene Nanoribbons, DNA-Templated Nanowires

Steven P. Gross
Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology
Developmental & Cell Biology and Physics

Zhibin Guan
Professor of Chemistry
Single Molecule Studies of Materials

John C. Hemminger
Professor of Chemistry
Surface Chemistry and Physics
Wilson Ho
Professor of Physics
Nanoscience with Scanning Tunneling Microscopes
Allon Hochbaum
Professor of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science
Nanoscale materials and hybrid bio-inorganic devices for applications in clean energy
Herbert Hopster
Professor of Physics
Magnetic Properties of Surfaces and Interfaces
Kenneth C. Janda
Professor of Chemistry
Dean of Physical Sciences
Chemistry and Physics of Clusters and Clathrate-Hydrate Solids

Noo Li Jeon
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Microfluidics for Biological Research

Ilya Krivorotov
Professor of Physics
Spintronics and Nanomagnetism

Matt Law
Professor of Chemistry
Materials chemistry, nanoscience, solar energy conversion

Ray Luo
Professor of Biophysics
Biochemistry, Molecular Biophysics, and Biomedical Engineering
Vladimir Mandelshtam
Professor of Chemistry
Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

Alexei A. Maradudin
Professor of Physics
Scattering from Rough Surfaces
Craig Martens
Professor of Chemistry
Theoretical Physical Chemistry
Rachel Martin
Professor of Chemistry / ChaMP Co-Director
Joint appointment, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Biophysical Chemistry and NMR Methods Development, protein structure, cataract, membrane proteins
Martha Mecartney
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Sol-gel processing of oxide ceramics
Ali Mohraz
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Colloidal and Granular Materials
Shaul Mukamel
Professor of Chemistry
Theory and Simulation (Chemistry)
Craig Murray
Professor of Chemistry
Atmospheric and Environmental, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics
Hung D. Nguyen
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering
Computational Nanoscience of Biological Systems & Complex Fluids     
Mikael Nilsson
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Chemistry of nuclear materials and waste
Sergey Nizkorodov
Professor of Chemistry
Atmospheric Aerosol Particle Chemistry
Xiaoqing Pan
Professor and Henry Samueli Endowed Chair in Engineering
Chemical Engineering and Materials Science     
Reginald Penner
Professor of Chemistry
Surface Nanochemistry and Physics
Regina Ragan
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Eric Potma
Professor of Chemistry
Chemical imaging of biological samples     
Thorsten Ritz
Professor of Physics
James Rutledge
Professor of Physics
Superfluids and Superconductors
A. J. Shaka
Professor of Chemistry
Physical and Biophysical Chemistry; Chemistry of Aging; Nuclear Power; Radiochemistry
Kenneth Shea
Professor of Chemistry
Synthetic Organic, Polymer and Materials Chemistry
Manabu Shiraiwa
Professor of Chemistry
Atmospheric and Environmental, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics, Theoretical and Computational
Albert Siryaporn
Professor of Physics
Bacterial Pathogenesis at the intersection of Biophysics and Molecular Biology, bacterial mechanosensation, virulence regulation, mechano-genetics, microfluidics

Zuzanna Siwy
Professor of Physics / ChaMP Co-Director
Biophysics, pore gating, ionic circuits, virus detection

Jim Smith
Professor of Chemistry
Analytical, Atmospheric and Environmental, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics, ultrafine aerosol, mass spectrometry
Peter Taborek
Professor of Physics
Low Temperature Physics and Diamond Films
Douglas J. Tobias
Professor of Chemistry
Theory of Biomolecular Systems  
Bruce Tromberg
Professor Biomedical Engineering
Biophotonics and In Vivo Molecular Imaging
Professor (Joint Appointment), Surgery, School of Medicine
Chen Tsai
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Photonics, Ultrasonic Nozzles for Biomedical Applications, Magnonic Crystals
Vasan Venugopalan
Professor of Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, & Surgery
Analytical, Atmospheric and Environmental, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics
Szu-Wen Wang
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Biomolecular Engineering, Interfacial Engineering, Drug Delivery, Biomaterials, Nanobiotechnology
Gregory Weiss
Professor of Chemistry
Analytical, Chemical Biology, Organic and Synthetic, Polymer, Materials, Nanoscience

Steven White
Professor of Physics
Statistical Mechanics & Superconductivity
Ruqian Wu
Professor of Physics
Physics of Magnetic Films
Jing Xia
Professor of Physics
Nano & Quantum Physics

Albert Yee
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Physical and mechanical properties of polymers and soft materials
Clare Yu
Professor of Physics
Theory of Disordered Systems, Biophysics, Quantum Computing