Graduate Program

Colorado School of Mines is a unique university dedicated to the sciences, engineering and high technologies, with modern facilities and innovative research centers.

Members of the faculty in the Department of Physics are engaged in research that is supported by external grants in excess of $6 million annually, with strong efforts in Condensed Matter Physics, Subatomic Physics, Applied Optics, Renewable Energy, and Theoretical Physics. The Department benefits from strong ties to internationally prominent facilities such as the nearby National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In addition, faculty use facilities at other national labs, such as Oak Ridge and Los Alamos National Laboratories.

Numerous projects involve cooperative relationships with local companies, national and international collaborations with other universities and government labs, and active partnerships with members of the Mines faculty in other departments on campus.

The department offers MS and PhD degrees in applied physics. The department is also a member of the interdisciplinary Materials Science Program and the interdisciplinary Nuclear Science and Engineering Program. Applicants who are interested in working with members of the physics faculty can apply to either the Physics program or the interdisciplinary programs. Financial aid is available to qualified applicants in all three programs through teaching or research assistantships and fellowships.

Graduate students in Applied Physics are given a solid background in the fundamentals of classical and modern physics at an advanced level. A wide range of upper-level elective courses aimed at departmental focus areas in condensed matter physics, subatomic physics, and applied optics are also taught.

Course sizes are relatively small and students receive a lot of individual attention from faculty members. It is through the one-on-one student-professor interaction that professional skills are honed. Students are encouraged early in their studies to learn about the research interests of the faculty so that a thesis topic can be identified. The weekly departmental seminars, which expose students to experts from within and outside the physics program, assists with this process.

Mines is located along the beautiful Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in the community of Golden, Colorado. Golden is within easy driving distance of some of the world’s best ski slopes, rock climbing crags, mountain biking, hiking and backpacking trails, and several national parks. Located 15 minutes away is metropolitan Denver, a social, cultural, and business center of the West.

For more information about graduate education in the Department of Physics at Colorado School of Mines please contact the chairman of the Graduate Admissions Committee, Kyle Leach.

Graduate Application Information

Teaching and research assistantships are available to qualified MS and PhD candidates in Physics and in Mines’ interdisciplinary programs in Materials Science and Nuclear Engineering. Thesis topics fall under the research areas represented in the Department: photovoltaics, ultrafast lasers and quantum optics, novel microscopy, astroparticle physics, nuclear physics experiment and theory, condensed matter physics, electronic materials experiment and theory, nanophysics, soft materials physics, nonlinear ultrasonics, millimeter wave and terahertz physics, and theoretical investigation of quantum cold gasses and nonlinear phenomena.

You can begin the application process online. Application forms and a brochure describing our program are also available through the Graduate Admissions Office. Graduate application deadlines can be found here. We generally complete all admission decisions before April.

If you plan to apply for financial assistance, you must take the Physics Graduate Record Examination. Foreign applicants who wish to be considered for financial assistance must also take the TOEFL examination.

For more information about admission to our graduate programs, application instructions, deadlines, selection criteria, and other aspects of the process please contact Kyle Leach, Department of Physics, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, 80401; call (303) 273-3853; or email kleach@mines.edu.

Reminder: Submit credentials via the online application; please do not submit application material to the Department of Physics or the chairman of the Physics Graduate Admissions Committee.