Welcome to Cornell University: Any person, any study.

Applications for admission to graduate study in applied physics are invited from students with undergraduate degrees in physics, applied physics, or engineering physics and from students with degrees in related areas such as electrical engineering, mathematics, materials science, or chemistry who have a strong analytical orientation.

Well-qualified individuals with master’s degrees in these areas are also invited to apply. Competition for admission to Cornell's Applied Physics program is strong, and class size is limited by the number of students for which research support is expected to be available in subsequent years. Students are admitted on the basis of academic merit and ability to pursue an advanced degree program as demonstrated by scholastic record, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a personal statement (new in 2023).  Students admitted to the program normally begin in the fall term.

Admission to the Ph.D. program is generally granted only on a full-time basis for pursuit of a doctoral degree. Students seeking a Master's level degree may wish to consider the one-year Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) Degree Program in Engineering Physics, or the two-year Master of Science (M.S.) Degree Program, both of which are offered by the School of Applied and Engineering Physics.


Applications for graduate students in the School of Applied and Engineering Physics should be completed online via the Cornell Graduate School website. Recommenders are also encouraged to submit their letters online. Applications must be submitted no later than December 15 if applicants wish to be considered for Cornell fellowships. Applications received after this date may still be considered, but options for financial support are more limited. Application for financial aid is made at the same time as application for admission. Every effort is made to notify students of admission decisions by the end of February. Cornell fellowship awardees are also typically notified by this time.