The UMass Lowell Department of Physics and Applied Physics, with over $10 million annually in funded research, is well positioned to offer M.S. and Ph.D. programs specializing in physics and applied physics, both experimental and theoretical.

The programs include:

  • sub-millimeter wave (terahertz) technology,
  • photonics,
  • materials physics,
  • nano-science and technology,
  • nuclear physics,
  • biophotonics,
  • computational physics,
  • space physics,
  • astronomy,
  • health physics and
  • medical physics.

We have 80 graduate students in our program. Financial Aid is available for Ph.D. students in the form of teaching and research assistantships.

Graduates from our programs hold positions in academia, national laboratories, government agencies, major medical facilities and industry. UMass Lowell alumni have been successful in gaining employment in areas dealing with material properties, electro-optics, computer modeling, advanced radiation detection for nuclear physics and homeland security, as well as radiation safety and protection, medical diagnostic imaging, and therapeutic medical physics.

Physics Graduate Coordinator

Viktor Podolskiy Ph.D.
Department of Physics and Applied Physics
Olney Science Center - OLN-136
One University Avenue
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Lowell, Massachusetts 01854
Phone: 978-934-3398
Email: Viktor_Podolskiy@uml.edu

Health Physics & Medical Physics Information

For more information about our graduate programs in Health Physics and Medical Physics, please contact the Radiological Sciences Coordinator, Prof. Mark Tries, or the Medical Physics Coordinator, Prof. Erno Sajo

The following webpages include more information for all programs within Health, Medical Physics and Radiological Sciences.

M.S. in Physics

The Master of Science degree may be taken in Physics or Radiological Science and Protection (health physics or in the Medical Physics option) or in the applied physics option in Optical sciences. Course requirements for the M.S. program consist of a total of 30 credits, including work on a thesis or project. The M.S. may serve as a basis for further study toward a Ph.D. degree. Students are expected to complete the M.S. program in two years.

The General GRE Examination is required for admission into the master's program, but not the Physics Subject Test.

  • Students currently enrolled as undergraduates in physics at the UMass Lowell may elect to apply for admission to the BS/MS Program in Physics. Currently three BS/MS programs are available, Physics, Optical Science, and Radiological Science, Junior or senior full-time physics majors with a grade point average of 3.0 or above are eligible to apply for admission to the program. The application procedure and admission review process are the same as for any other graduate applicant, except that there is no application fee, and Graduate Record Examination scores are not required.

    Graduate courses taken by a baccalaureate degree student that are credited towards the master’s degree must have been obtained with a grade of B or better. Once the departmental credit requirements for the bachelor’s degree have been met, up to twelve graduate credits (500 level or higher) in excess of the 120 credit baccalaureate degree may be used for the graduate degree. Project or thesis requirements are the same as for all other Physics M.S. Programs.

    Learn more about our Bachelor's to Master's Programs.

Ph.D. in Physics

The Ph.D. program requires 60 credits, including dissertation research. Candidates for the degree must pass a written and oral comprehensive examination and a doctoral research admission examination (taken after completing a master's thesis, or completing two semesters of an advanced research project for students who already have obtained a non-thesis master's, or presentation of master's thesis research carried out at another institution). 

Areas of research include experimental nuclear physics, experimental and theoretical solid-state physics and materials science, optics, laser physics, submillimeter (terahertz) wave applications, nano-science and technology, astronomy, space physics, energy applications including nuclear and solar, applied mechanics, radiological health physics, and medical physics.

For admission into the Ph.D. program the General GRE Test is required and the Physics Subject GRE Test is recommended but not required.

To learn more about our research programs check out our Merging Science with Technology: Research Programs Brochure (pdf) and our one page Ph.D. in Physics flyer (pdf).

  • The Physics Department strives to provide full financial support for all admitted Ph.D. students. The first two years are typically funded through Teaching Assistantships (TA) plus summer research support, while funding for subsequent years are through Research Assistantships (RA). Starting fall 2016, the total compensation package for a UMass Lowell first year out-of-state physics Ph.D. student is valued at over $50,000. This includes a 12-month stipend of $25,000, a full waiver of tuition and operating fees, plus 80 percent of student health insurance costs. An additional ten $3,000 university scholarships will be offered starting fall 2016 to top admitted students, bringing the total 12-month stipend amount for university scholars to $28,000. Scholarships may be renewed for up to two years for TA's and for additional years for RA's, contingent on performance, that include passing the Ph.D. qualifying exams and maintaining a full-time graduate course load with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.6.

  • Applications are made through the Graduate Admissions website.


    Applications for the Ph.D. program must be submitted no later than Jan. 15 for consideration for the fall semester.

    Applications to the master's program can be submitted at any time.

    Required Documents:

    • GRE score is NOT required
    • GRE Physics Subject Test for Ph.D. applicants recommended, but not required
    • TOEFL for international students whose native language is not English
    • Transcripts in duplicate
    • Three letters of reference
    • A personal statement

    Research Qualifications

    Previous research experience and recommendations from prior research supervisors are desirable but not required for Ph.D. applicants.

    Applicants are welcome to contact our faculty directly to discuss their research interests. All applications are evaluated collectively by the graduate admissions committee.

    Students with Non-Standard Backgrounds

    We consider applicants with non-traditional physics backgrounds, including students with degrees in related sciences and engineering, students with industry experience, and others who may not enter the program directly after finishing a B.S. degree. 

    Application process information

  • Details of program requirements can be found in the Academic Catalog.