Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Materials Science

Graduate Studies

The Applied Physics & Materials Science Department offers two distinct graduate programs, namely:

Ph.D. degree in Materials Science »

Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics »

Please visit the Graduate Admissions website for downloadable forms, important dates, and complete information about the graduate admissions process.


Option Representative — Materials Science

Brent Fultz

Option Representative — Applied Physics

Oskar J. Painter

Options Manager

Jennifer N. Blankenship

Admission to these graduate programs is competitive and decided by separate Applied Physics and Materials Science admissions committees that review all applications. The admission process takes place once each year for enrollment during the fall. Applicants must submit applications by the December 15 deadline and are responsible for ensuring that all associated credentials are submitted by the deadline. Applications will not be reviewed until all credentials and official copies of test scores have been received.

Upon reviewing an application, the admissions committee of the option to which it has been submitted may recommend that it also be reviewed by another option which is deemed more suitable. If your application is referred to another option, you will not be charged additional fees nor be asked to submit a duplicate application.

The Ph.D. program begins with a year or two of coursework with simultaneous initial research activity, followed by a candidacy examination, and then typically three or four years of concentrated research culminating in writing a Ph.D. thesis and presenting the results of this thesis orally at a final examination. To learn more, see Graduate Admissions.

Application Requirements

Applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree or the equivalent before beginning graduate study. Applicants who already possess a Ph.D. degree will generally not be considered for a second Ph.D. degree. Transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and the applicant's statement of purpose are all required components of the application and are carefully weighed during the evaluation process. The admissions committee may also consider research papers, publications and other original work.

Application Deadline

December 15, of each year for all degree programs in Applied Physics and Materials Science.

For further information about graduate study in the Applied Physics and Materials Science Options, please contact:

Jennifer Blankenship
Applied Physics and Materials Science Dept.
California Institute of Technology
1200 East California Boulevard
MC 128-95
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-8124

Applications for graduate studies are reviewed and evaluated for admission (and financial aid) each year starting on December 15, after all credentials (including recommendation letters and official copies of test scores) have been received. GRE scores are required (applicants should take the GRE in September to allow enough time for Caltech to receive the scores by December), and a subject test of the student's choice is strongly recommended. Students able to demonstrate financial hardship may be granted a waiver of the application fee upon formal request.