Physics and Astronomy Graduate Program

In the past 80 years, our department has guided over 600 PhD candidates to success. The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is recognized nationally and internationally for faculty at the frontier of research who mentor graduate students on an individual level. With 44 core faculty members and lecturers, the department has a strong tradition in excellence and innovation. Our alumni have gone on to  build distinguished careers as researchers at major academic, government and industrial laboratories, educators at universities and colleges, and as independent scientific entrepreneurs.

American Institute of Physics 2020 Graduate Programs in Physics, Astronomy, and Related Fields entry.

Department Graduate Student Handbook


How to Apply

Find admissions requirements, application materials, and contact information. For full consideration for matriculation in the Fall term, applications and all suppporting materials should be received by the January application deadline.


The department has a long tradition of providing comprehensive advising for new and continuing students.

Graduate Programs

The PhD program is designed to provide students with a broad experimental, observational, and/or theoretical foundation for successful careers as scientists. Completion of the requirements for the Masters in Science degree coincide with the pursuit of a PhD, requiring 30 credits to complete.


Study includes formal course work, attending colloquia and seminars, and teaching.

Teaching Experience

The teaching of physics by Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows is both a responsibility and a privilege.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is normally provided to graduate students through teaching or research assistantships. In addition, several competitive fellowships are available for entering students. Fellowships may be combined with teaching or research assistantships.

Student Life

There are many University and National Graduate organizations to join. The University enhances your education with first-class facilities. 

Graduation Procedures

Make certain that you have completed all the necessary paperwork, PhD or Masters checkslists, and reviewed doctoral defenses tips. Read the graduation procedures carefully to ensure that you are in full compliance with all rules and regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find frequently asked questions regarding how to apply and what to do upon acceptance to the graduate program.