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Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi

Graduate Admissions

Thank you for your interest in our graduate program.  We offer PhD and MS programs as well as an MA program.  A range of research areas are available to meet student interests.  The application deadline for Fall Semester admissions is January 15 and for Spring admissions it is September 15.  All application materials must be received by the deadline for full consideration.  Please direct any questions to our department’s Graduate Program Coordinator (

Application Materials and Admissions Requirements

  • GRE General Test scores.
  • Official undergraduate transcripts.
  • Statement of purpose (no more than one page).
  • Academic CV.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • For international applicants: English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS)

Applicants for graduate admission should have at least a GPA equivalent to a B (3.0 on the US university GPA 4-point scale) in previous university/college studies. Visit the Graduate School application web page here.

Submit an online application to the Graduate School (where you will upload your SOP and CV); then have the other documents listed above sent to the Graduate School as soon as possible after your application has been submitted.  Please see the How to Apply section below for more details.

For information about graduate assistantships, fellowships and tuition scholarships, please click here.


How to Apply

Step 1: Apply Online

Submit an application through the University of Mississippi Graduate Admissions website: Apply Online Now

Step 2: Supply Standardized Test Scores

Have the Educational Testing Service (ETS) send your official GRE scores and if needed the TOEFL or IELTS score to the UM Graduate School.  Our institution codes are given below.  You must submit your application for admission BEFORE asking ETS to send us your official scores.

  • GRE: Institution Code 1840, Department Code 5199
  • TOEFL: Institution Code 1840, Department Code 99

Step 3: Supply Official Transcripts

Arrange to have official transcripts of all your undergraduate and graduate coursework sent to the Graduate School.

The University of Mississippi
Graduate School
54 Galtney Lott Plaza
University, MS 38677
Attention: Graduate Admissions
phone: 662-915-7474
The University of Mississippi
Graduate School
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677-1848
Attention: Graduate Admissions

Step 4: Letters of Recommendation

Ask your recommenders to upload letters of recommendation to the links that will be sent to them from the online application or alternatively, send the letters directly to the GPC at

Step 5: Request Preliminary Departmental Application Review (Optional)

Applicants who have difficulty submitting official documents immediately may request a preliminary evaluation of their applications by the department.  While the Graduate School accepts only official documents, the department can make a preliminary determination using unofficial copies (scans and screen grabs are fine).  To request a preliminary evaluation, send an email request to the Graduate Program Coordinator (  Include the student ID (not the application number) assigned by the online application site.

Please upload your documents using the link provided by the GPC (on request) in pdf format using the following file name convention:

  • LastName FirstName CV.pdf
  • LastName FirstName SOP.pdf
  • LastName FirstName GRE.pdf
  • LastName FirstName TOEFL.pdf
  • LastName FirstName transcript BS.pdf
  • LastName FirstName transcript MS.pdf
Additional Requirements for International Applicants

English Proficiency Test Requirements

English proficiency tests are required required for non-native English speakers.  Proficiency test requirements are summarized below, however, the most updated proficiency requirements can be found here.  More details about requirements for international applicants can be found on the international programs website.

  • Full admission granted with TOEFL score: Internet Based (IB) 79, Computer Based (CB) 213, or Paper Based (PB) 550.
  • Full admission granted with IELTS score of 6.
  • Students with IELTS scores of 6–7 will be re-tested with The University of Mississippi English Placement Test prior to registration to determine if the student must enroll in an intensive English course such as English for International Students (IE 090/091) during their first semester of enrollment.

Exemptions: The following international applicants are exempt from submitting an English language proficiency test score.

  • Applicants who show evidence of having completed the Advanced Plus Level at the University of Mississippi’s Intensive English Program with a grade of B or higher.
  • Applicants who apply for admission as degree-seeking freshmen and who have completed two years minimum of high school education at, and graduated from, an accredited high school in the U.S.
  • Applicants who apply for admission as degree-seeking transfer students and who have completed at least 30 credits, including two English Writing/Composition courses, at an accredited institution of higher education in the U.S., and who have earned a cumulative grade-point average of 2.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale, and a grade of 2.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale on each of the English writing/composition courses.
  • Applicants who have earned a higher education degree from an institution in one of a group of countries listed on the English Language Test Requirement exemption list while residing in that country.
  • Citizens of one of a group of countries listed on the English Language Test Requirement exemption list .

Additionally, all international graduate students who are granted assistantships will be assessed for language proficiency prior to the start of their first semester, by university policy.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the minimum GRE General Test score that applicants must have to be admitted?
    • We perform a holistic evaluation of all components of applications and do not admit based on GRE scores alone.  However, competition for admission to the program is strong and students who score less than 158 on the Quantitative GRE are rarely admitted, with scores higher than 160 being typical.
  • Is the GRE Physics Subject Test required?
    • It is not required, but our graduate committee prefers to have this information when making admissions decisions, thus is a score should be sent if available.
  • What can I do if I a cannot have my official documents (transcript, GRE, English proficiency scores) submitted immediately?
    • Applicants who are unable to have official documents submitted immediately can request a preliminary department review of their application using unofficial documents.  Please see Step 5 in the How to Apply section.  Note that any result of the evaluation will be conditional on receipt of official documents and that admissions cannot be processed without official documents.
  • What is the minimum GPA required for admission to the graduate program?
    • The Graduate School requires a GPA equivalent to a B (3.0 on the US university GPA 4-point scale) or higher in previous university/college studies.  For international students, the Office of International Programs will determine your equivalent GPA after you submit an application with a transcript from your institution.  The Department of Physics cannot determine your equivalent GPA.
  • What is expected in the Statement of Purpose?
    • The Statement of Purpose should be no longer than one page.  The admissions committee will only read the first page even if it is longer.  It should explain why the applicant is a good fit for our program.  It should summarize the applicant’s research experience (if any) and planned field of study (if known).  It should not be a personal essay about how the applicant came to be interested in physics.  We will soon put up an example of what we expect in a Statement of Purpose.
  • What information should be included in the Academic CV?
    • The academic CV should include pertinent information about anything to do with your academic life; awards, scholarships, and other accolades. It does not need to include personal information (e.g., age or marital status) or work experience not directly related to the proposed program of study.
  • Are you admitting students in my research area of interest?
    • Please contact our faculty in your area of interest to inquire whether they are accepting students at the current time.
  • I have not yet defined a particular research area of interest. Can I still apply?
    • Yes, you can apply.  However, please review our research areas described on our website and make sure that you have some interest in one or more of them.  In your statement of purpose, indicate that you are uncertain of the particular field that you might like to do research in but give some indication of which our major research areas you believe you may fit in and why.
  • Is financial support available for accepted students?
    • Virtually all students accepted to our graduate program are provided with full financial support via teaching assistantships and scholarships.  Click here for more information about financial support.
  • Are there exemptions to the English Proficiency Test requirement for international applicants?
    • Yes.  Please see the Exemptions section of the Additional Requirements for International Applicants section above.  For the most up to date information, please see the International Programs web page which describes the English proficiency requirements and exemptions.