Application Opens: September 8, 2020 Application Deadline: January 1, 2021
Late Applications may be considered until April 1, 2021 but candidates that miss the deadline place themselves in a less competitive position.
Note: Applications submitted will be time stamped Eastern Time.
Students interested in applying for admission to our Ph.D. program should do the following:
Submit a completed Application Form. The application will be available September 3.
GPA requirement. The university required minimum GPA is 3.0 (B)or the equivalent. For further information, please see the university requirements.
GRE (Graduate Record Examination) requirement. Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the general GRE exam is optional (not required) for admissions this year. If you are able to take the test and wish to submit scores, we will not accept GRE's older than 2 years. Unofficial GRE score reports are required to be uploaded to the online application system when the reports become available. An eventual official GRE general report is also required. Instruct ETS (Educational Testing Service) to send these scores electronically or original documents to Rice University. Photocopies, attached files, faxes, or any other form of report, other than originals, CANNOT be used as official documents. There is no minimum score on the GRE required for admission.
Our department does not require or make use of the GRE subject test in physics.
The Institution GRE code for Rice University: 6609
The Department GRE code for Physics and Astronomy: 0808
Test of English as a Foreign Language - requirement. For 2021 admission, the following tests are accepted and will be used to assess English language proficiency.
- The TOEFL IBT Home. A minimum score of 90 is required.
- IELTS Indicator. A minimum score of 7 is required.
- Duolingo. A minimum score of 115 is required.
For 2021, Rice will not accept the ITP Plus test to evaluate English language proficiency, but scores/interviews are able to be reported to Rice as supplemental material via Vericant.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) requirement. The TOEFL is required from international students whose native language is not English. We will not accept TOEFL or IELTS older than 2 years. The TOEFL and the IELTS are not required for U.S. Citizens and international students who earned a degree from a university in which English is the official language of communication. Unofficial TOEFL score reports are required to be uploaded to the online application system when the reports become available. Official TOEFL test scores are also required. Foreign applicants must have the testing service send the TOEFL scores electronically or original documents to Rice University. Photocopies, attached files, faxes, or any other form of report, other than originals, CANNOT be used as official documents. Testing must be scheduled allowing time for scores to be reported to Rice University by the application deadline. Preferred scores are 95 iBT (internet-based) or 260 CBT (computer-based). Minimum required scores are 90 iBT, 250 CBT, or 600 on the paper based. For students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum score is 7.
The Institution TOEFL code for Rice University: 6609
The Department TOEFL code for Physics and Astronomy: 76
For more details, please see the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website at: https://graduate.rice.edu/admissions/qualifications
Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended are required. Transcripts should be uploaded to the on-line application for faster review of applications. If you are offered admission to Rice, official transcripts will be required and can either be sent directly to the department by the institution or sealed by the institution in a signed envelope and delivered by the applicant.
Three letters of recommendation are required. The letters are usually written by faculty who are familiar with your work and can make an assessment of your potential for success in graduate school.
Update regarding application fees: For 2021, the Physics and Astronomy Department will waive the application fees for all doctoral applicants. Please check our requirements before submitting your application.
Review the Graduate Application Checklist to make sure you met all the requirements and you are submitting a complete application.
Application Review Process
The applicant's completed file is reviewed among a committee of faculty members. Those applicants selected by the committee and approved by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are notified of their admission to graduate school and fellowship award. All applicants are notified by email after the committee has completed its review.
In the selection of prospective graduate students at Rice, all available material is carefully evaluated, particularly:
- The scholastic record as reflected by courses chosen and the quality of performance.
- The evaluations of teachers and advisers.
- Scores on the Graduate Record Examination. Note: Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the general GRE exam is optional (not required) for admissions this year.
- The student's own goals, aspirations, and special interests.
- Previous research experience.
Notifications of acceptance
Notification of acceptance normally starts around February and is ordinarily completed by April 15.
E-mail inquiries about the Physics and Astronomy graduate program at Rice should be directed to the Physics and Astronomy Department's Graduate Admissions Coordinator.
The application procedure for the Applied Physics Program is listed on their webpage.
***Rice University will be CLOSED for Christmas, Winter Recess, and New Year's Holiday from December 23, 2020 to January 4, 2021. Please try to contact the appropriate areas listed above prior to these holidays.
Submit application materials:
Official transcripts and GRE/TOEFL exam scores need to be sent directly to the department. For a complete list of documents needed, see the Graduate Application Checklist.
Physics and Astronomy Department, MS-61
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892
Courier Service Address
Physics and Astronomy Department, MS-61
Brockman Hall for Physics Building, Room 201
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005