Graduate Division

Physics Ph.D. and concentration in Chemical and Materials Physics

Section 1

Overview

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

Doctoral Program

Normative Time to Degree

6 years

Capstone Type

Dissertation

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

Applications are submitted online through the UCI Graduate Division Admissions web site. 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:


http://grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/fee-waivers.php


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
  • Official Physics Subject GRE score - 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:

http://grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/letters-of-recommendation.php


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:

http://grad.uci.edu/admissions/applying-to-uci/english-proficiency.php

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:

http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

Applicants should carefully check to make sure that all application materials are submitted by the January 1 deadline. Incomplete or late applications may not be considered.

Please contact My Banh at mbanh@uci.edu 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, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores in either physics, chemistry, or engineering.

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 and Chemistry and indicate that you are interested in ChaMP.

Financial Support

The Department of Physics and Astronomy encourages all eligible students to apply to graduate fellowships. These fellowships help support the research in the department and are very prestigious for the fellow. Below is a list of potential fellowships.  If you have any questions retarding the fellowships including eligibility, requirements, and strategy, please your advisor or a departmental faculty member.  Physics and Astronomy staff can assist you with the paperwork, as well as provide an example of previous successful proposals, if available.
 
During their first year of study, graduate students are typically provided stipends, tuition and fee fellowships, and/or Teaching Assistantships. In subsequent years, students typically receive support through Research Assistantships once they begin their doctoral research.  Listed below are some of the sources of financial support for entering and continuing graduate students at UCI.   For more informaiton regarding financial support, please visit the UCI Office of Financial Assistance website.
 
For a list of financial aid and fellowship opportunities, click here
 
Teaching Assistantship

These positions require up to 20 hours of teaching service per week.  Teaching assistantships for the summer months are also available.   Please visit the Office of Graduate Studies Teaching Assistantships website for more information, or consult with the Physics and Astronomy Student Affairs staff with questions about TA positions in the department.
 
Research Assistantship (Graduate Student Researcher)

These positions pay the stipend of students who are pursuing doctoral dissertation research and are typically funded through grants awarded to department faculty. Please visit the Office of Graduate Studies Research Assistantships website for more information about Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2018-19

  Fall 2018 Winter 2019 Spring 2019 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 137.88 137.88 137.87 413.63
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
eTech Fee * 60.00 60.00 60.00 180.00
Document Fee † 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,348.00 1,347.00 1,347.00 4,042.00
Total California Resident $5,795.88 $5,794.88 $5,794.87 $17,385.63
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $10,829.88 $10,828.88 $10,828.87 $32,487.63

Posted 10 August 2018 at http://reg.uci.edu/fees/2018-2019/graduate.html

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 non-refundable eTech Fee is required of all students and is used to support the maintenance and improvement of existing education technology, and new services and capabilities. The eTech fee is listed separately as the charged amount varies based on the amount of undergraduate units the student is enrolled in and is assessed later in the term than the other fees listed. The fee is $4 per unit of undergraduate lecture course, up to a maximum amount of $60 (or 15 units) per quarter. It will be assessed after the third week of instruction. The $60 eTech Fee included on this chart reflects the maximum possible fee.

† 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

Kevork N. Abazajian, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Jun F. Allard, Ph.D. University of British Columbia, Assistant Professor of Mathematics; Physics and Astronomy (mathematical and computational biology)


Ioan Andricioaei, Ph.D. Boston University, Professor of Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy (chemical biology, physical chemistry and chemical physics, theoretical and computational)


Aaron J. Barth, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Steven W. Barwick, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Gregory A. Benford, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


James S. Bullock, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, Gary McCue Administrative Term Chair in Cosmology and Professor of Physics and Astronomy


David A. Buote, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Kieron Burke, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Professor of Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy (physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience, theoretical and computational)


David W. Casper, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Gary A. Chanan, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Liu Chen, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Research Professor and Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Mu-Chun Chen, Ph.D. University of Colorado Boulder, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Alexander L. Chernyshev, Ph.D. Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Philip Collins, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Michael Cooper, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Asantha R. Cooray, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Michael B. Dennin, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Franklin Dollar, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy (applied physics)


Igor E. Dzyaloshinskii, Ph.D. Moscow State University, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Jonathan L. Feng, Ph.D. Stanford University, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Zachary Fisk, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, UCI Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Enrico Gratton, Ph.D. University of Rome, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Developmental and Cell Biology; Physics and Astronomy (design of new fluorescence instruments, protein dynamics, single molecule, fluorescence microscopy, photon migration in tissues)


Steven P. Gross, Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin, Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology; Biomedical Engineering; Physics and Astronomy (force generation by molecular motors in living cells)


Arnold Guerra, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Lecturer of Physics and Astronomy


Gultekin Gulsen, Ph.D. Bogazici University, Associate Professor of Radiological Sciences; Biomedical Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Physics and Astronomy (in vivo molecular imaging, diffuse optical tomography, fluorescence tomography, photo-magnetic imaging, multi-modality imaging)


Herbert W. Hamber, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


William W. Heidbrink, Ph.D. Princeton University, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Wilson Ho, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Donald Bren Professor and Professor of Physics and Astronomy; Chemistry (physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience)


Herbert J. Hopster, Ph.D. Aachen University, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Manoj Kaplinghat, Ph.D. Ohio State University, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Anne A. Kirkby, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Lecturer of Physics and Astronomy


David P. Kirkby, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Professor of Physics and Astronomy (observational cosmology, data science, embedded systems)


Ilya N. Krivorotov, Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Andrew J. Lankford, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Jon M. Lawrence, Ph.D. University of Rochester, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Zhihong Lin, Ph.D. Princeton University, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Mark A. Mandelkern, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Research Professor and Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Alexei A. Maradudin, Ph.D. University of Bristol, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Roger D. McWilliams, Ph.D. Princeton University, Associate Dean of the School of Physical Sciences and Professor of Physics and Astronomy


William R. Molzon, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Shaul Mukamel, Ph.D. Tel Aviv University, UCI Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy (physical chemistry and chemical physics, polymer, materials, nanoscience, theoretical and computational)


Simona Murgia, Ph.D. Michigan State University, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Riley D. Newman, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy; Logic and Philosophy of Science; Physics and Astronomy


Xiaoqing Pan, Ph.D. Saarlandes University, Henry Samueli Endowed Chair and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; Physics and Astronomy (transmission electron microscopy and materials science)


Siddharth Ashok Parameswaran, Ph.D. Princeton University, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy


William H. Parker, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Arvind Rajaraman, Ph.D. Stanford University, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Thorsten Ritz, Ph.D. University of Ulm, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


James E. Rutledge, Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Nathan Rynn, Ph.D. Stanford University, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Jonas Schultz, Ph.D. Columbia University, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy; Logic and Philosophy of Science


Yuri Shirman, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Dennis J. Silverman, Ph.D. Stanford University, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Albert Siryaporn, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy; Molecular Biology and Biochemistry


Zuzanna S. Siwy, Ph.D. Silesian University of Technology, Professor of Physics and Astronomy; Biomedical Engineering; Chemistry (biosensing, nanotechnology, condensed matter physics)


Tammy Ann Smecker-Hane, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Henry W. Sobel, Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Min-Ying Su, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Professor of Radiological Sciences; Physics and Astronomy


Peter Taborek, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Department Chair and Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Agnes Taffard, Ph.D. University of Liverpool, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Timothy Tait, Ph.D. Michigan State University, UCI Chancellor's Fellow and Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Fumiko Tajima, Ph.D. University of Tokyo, Lecturer of Physics and Astronomy


Toshiki Tajima, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, UCI Endowed Chair and Adjunct Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Virginia L. Trimble, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Laura Tucker, B.A. California Polytechnic State University, Lecturer of Physics and Astronomy


Mark Vagins, Ph.D. Yale University, Adjunct Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Gerard Vanhoven, Ph.D. Standford University, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Richard F. Wallis, Ph.D. Catholic University of America, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Frank J. Wessel, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Project Scientist of Physics and Astronomy


Steven R. White, Ph.D. Cornell University, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Daniel Whiteson, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy; Logic and Philosophy of Science


Ruqian Wu, Ph.D. Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Jing Xia, Ph.D. Stanford University, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy


Gaurang B. Yodh, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy


Clare C. Yu, Ph.D. Princeton University, Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Academic Data

academic data

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Career Outcomes

career outcomes data

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Students & Alumni

Coming soon.