Graduate Admission Information

Apply NowThe application deadline for Fall admission is December 21 for the best consideration, but late applications may be considered. The application deadline for Spring admission is August 1.

The department's Graduate Committee will carefully consider your interests and experience, academic record, letters of recommendation, and any additional information you include in your Curriculum Vitae. Before you submit your application, be sure all required components are included in your application. All required materials must be received before the committee will consider your application. A complete application consists of:

    1. Relevant Coursework. In the application form, under the "Relevant Coursework" tab, you must enter the course titles and grades (converted to the 4.0 scale) of all physics, astronomy, and math courses you have taken at the upper-division and graduate level.
    2. Letter of intent. Provide a personal statement that clearly identifies your area of research interest and if you are inclined towards theoretical or experimental research. Visit the department research page and list a few Physics & Astronomy Dept. faculty you are interested in working with. This list is helpful to process your application, but if admitted, you are free to pursue work with any department faculty member (see FAQ).
    3. Transcripts. Upload transcripts for all universities and colleges attended. Check our FAQ list for detailed instructions.
    4. Curriculum Vitae. Provide a Curriculum Vitae (academic resume) that highlights your academic, research, and any other accomplishments you would like the admissions committee to know about.
    5. Teaching Assistantship request/info. Provide a very brief statement of whether you request a Teaching Assistantship. Most students admitted to the PhD program will request and receive TA support for two years in the program, typically the first two. If you have a different source of funding (e.g. a fellowship or an expected research appointment), please describe this. Otherwise, one sentence stating ‘I request a TA’ or ‘I do not request a TA’ is sufficient. 
    6. English proficiency test results for international students: International applicants who do not meet an approved exception must submit one of the following tests at the minimum score: TOEFL - 79, IELTS - 6.5, Duolingo - 105, PTE - 53, Cambridge - C2. The test must have been taken within the last 2 years. Check our FAQ list for additional instructions.
    7. Letters of recommendation. Assign 3 academic references to submit letters of recommendation through the online application system.
    8. Optional GRE scores. General GRE test and Physics GRE subject test scores are optional. You may submit your scores if you wish, but it will not hurt your application if you do not submit GRE scores.

Begin the Graduate Application process here. Use this link to apply. The online application will allow you to upload all your necessary documents described above. Make sure to read the instructions on this page and the Additional Application Instructions for specific requirements for Physics MS and PhD. IMPORTANT: No changes to your application through the online system are allowed once you enter your digital signature on the application and click the SUBMIT button.

Additional Application Instructions:

All applicants

Application Fee Waivers. The University's graduate application fee may be waived for domestic applicants who are affiliated with certain programs or in limited cases of financial hardship. Check the Office of Graduate Studies for information on the OGS Fee Waiver Request.

Financial aid:
Teaching and Research Assistantships include a tuition waiver, health insurance coverage, and a stipend intended to be sufficient for all living expenses. Teaching Assistantships are generally awarded by the department for the first two academic years, with the possibility of extension dependent upon circumstances. Once students progress to joining a research group they are generally funded by Research Assistantships through their research advisor. Summer Research Assistant positions are also frequently available. The Department also awards a number of prize Fellowships to incoming students. If you are selected for a Fellowship, details will be given in your offer letter.

Living and housing expenses:
There are a number of options to choose from:

The cost of living in Albuquerque has historically been below the US national average. See UNM's estimates.

Quantum Photonics and Quantum Technology (QPAQT) program:
The Chemistry, Engineering, Optical Science & Engineering, and Physics PhD programs at UNM have launched a new graduate program for students interested in pursuing interdisciplinary research and education at the frontiers of quantum science and technology. QPAQT offers 12-15 month fellowships, financial aid, and a Graduate Certificate in Quantum Science & Technology, taken concurrently with either Chemistry, Engineering, OSE, or Physics PhD programs. More information is available at Prospective graduate students are welcome to mention interest in QPAQT in the Letter of Intent of your application.

Optical Science and Engineering program:
For information on the Optical Science and Engineering PhD and MS Programs, please visit the OSE site. OSE is a separate degree program from the Physics & Astronomy degree programs, but a number of Physics & Astronomy faculty participate in both programs.

PLEASE REVIEW the Frequently Asked Questions list for more detailed information regarding applications and requirements or contact Steven Bishop - Students are also welcome to contact potential faculty research advisors.