Graduate Programs

The School of Applied and Engineering Physics currently offers a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.)  in Engineering Physics and a Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics degrees.

  • The Master of Engineering degree in Engineering Physics (M.Eng.) prepares you for engineering design and development employment or further graduate work. You can broaden and deepen your preparation in AP, or prepare for professional engineering in laser and optical technology, nanostructure science and technology, device physics, materials characterization, or software engineering.

  • Applied Physics is a research-oriented Ph.D. program that provides a flexible graduate education tailored to individual interests. AP combines a core physics curriculum with research and study in one of several areas. Typically, students have a BS in physics, in another physical science (e.g., chemistry), or in an engineering field. Cornell's graduate field of applied physics does not require, and will not consider, GRE scores as part of the application process.

  • The two-year Master of Science in Applied Physics program offers advanced study and training in the three cores of AP: Optics, Nanotechnologies, and Biotechnologies. This program provides training and research/design project experience sought after by industry, government and R&D organizations.


Cornell AEP Ph.D. student Najva Akbari

"When I came to visit AEP I could see that people in the department were connected in a way I hadn’t seen in other schools. It was a real community here.”

— Najva Akbari, Ph.D. student
Jason Bartell in an optics laboratory

I like the idea of being able to understand how things work, and then apply them, and that’s ultimately what led me to pursue a Ph.D. in Applied Physics.

— Jason Bartell, Ph.D. '18

Current Graduate Programs

Master of Engineering in Engineering Physics

The one-year Master of Engineering degree program (M.Eng.) in Engineering Physics may lead directly to employment in engineering design and development or may be a basis for further graduate work. Students have the opportunity to broaden and deepen their preparation in the general field of applied physics, or they may choose the more specific option of preparing for professional engineering work in a particular area such as laser and optical technology, nanostructure science and technology, device physics, materials characterization, or software engineering. Wide latitude is allowed in the choice of the required design project.

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics

The Doctorate in Applied Physics program in the graduate field of Applied Physics is a research-oriented doctoral program that is flexible, individualized, and limited only by a student's interests. The interdisciplinary nature of Applied Physics enables students to enroll in courses offered by departments throughout the university, including physics, chemistry, biological sciences, astronomy, electrical engineering, computer science, mathematics, and materials science. Students who wish to do so may also take courses in a variety of nonscientific topics such as music, business, and foreign languages.

Zui Tao, AEP doctoral student

“On some level research makes my life more meaningful. When I don’t have the questions and challenges of research in my mind it feels like my brain is floating around without focus. Research grounds me."

— Zui Tao, Ph.D. student