Graduate Program Overview
The Department of Physics at VCU offers a Master of Science degree in Physics with a traditional set of core physics courses and a variety of specialized electives emphasizing our strengths in theoretical physics, surface & materials physics, optical spectroscopy, physics education and biophysics.
The department offers an opportunity to obtain an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology through a program that is managed jointly by the Department of Physics and the Department of Chemistry. In addition, some of our students obtain Chemistry Ph.D. degrees through a Chemical Physics program that is managed by the Department of Chemistry.
There are ten faculty members in the graduate program, with research interests in the areas of theoretical condensed matter physics (atomic clusters and nanoscale materials, highly-correlated electron systems, biophysics), experimental condensed matter physics (surface physics, materials physics), general relativity and cosmology, and physics education. The M.S. program is designed to be completed in two years (4 semesters).
Accelerated B.S.-M.S. Program
Students who are enrolled in the physics B.S. program may elect to take graduate courses which will count toward the physics M.S. degree. Up to six hours of graduate credit may be earned in this way without any special provision. In order to offer more than six hours of pre-admission graduate credit toward the graduate degree, a student must apply to the physics department Graduate Admission Committee for admission to the Accelerated B.S.-M.S. Program. Persons applying for admission to this program (1) should submit a curricular plan for completing the physics B.S. degree within two years or its part-time equivalent; (2) should indicate which graduate courses they intend to offer toward the physics M.S. degree; (3) should have a "B" average or better. The M.S. Degree Completion Form should be accompanied by a memo from the physics department Graduate Admission Committee to indicate which graduate courses were taken under the Accelerated B.S.-M.S. Program.
M.S. in Physics and Applied Physics
The first semester:
Before submitting a thesis:
Ph.D. in Nanoscience and NanotechnologyNanoscience and Nanotechnology Website
Deadlines, Admission and Degree Requirements
Ph.D. in Chemical PhysicsDeadlines
One-half of full-time students at VCU receive some form of financial
assistance from state, federal, or university funds. Our University Enrollment
Services/Financial Aid assists students in obtaining three kinds of need-based
assistance: loans, grants, and work-study. In addition, teaching assistantships
are awarded to selected students accepted into the graduate program. Inquiry
about such awards should be made directly to the department
Graduate research assistantships are occasionally available through research programs in the department.
For financial aid information, contact:
Financial Aid Counseling & Information Services Center
Although acceptance for admission to the University does not guarantee housing facilities to all new students, those who have desired space in University-operated housing have been accommodated in previous years. Living accommodations of various styles are provided on and off campus, as well as leased apartments off campus.
In general, most graduate students prefer to live off campus because of VCU limited amount of available student housing. However, sufficient local housing is available, most within walking distance of the campus.
For further information, contact:
Residence Hall Staff, Central Office
Virginia Commonwealth University
College of Humanities and Sciences
Department of Physics
701 W. Grace St.
PO Box 842000
Richmond, VA 23284-2000
Department Chair: Robert H. Gowdy
Webmaster: Robert H. Gowdy
This page last reviewed: April 5, 2013