Graduate Program

Physics grad student in lab

The graduate physics program at Cornell is multidisciplinary, broad and congenial, and has access to superb facilities. 

About the program

The program is designed for the student who wants to become a professional physicist. It has two main components:

Mastery of at least a core of advanced general physics. This component is intended to provide the students with the foundational knowledge enabling them to pursue a broad range of employment options upon graduation, including teaching physics at a four-year college level or higher, and/or conducting research in areas different than that of the thesis.

Original research in a specific area of physics. The research component provides the student with an in-depth knowledge of a particular area of active physics research, along with significant research experience in that area culminating in production of a thesis based on original scientific findings.

About the Graduate Program

The graduate experience

The Physics Graduate Society (PGS) exists to further the professional and social interests of the physics graduate students at Cornell. PGS has weekly coffee hours, lunch meetings with visiting scientists, professional development opportunities, movie nights, game nights, day trips, and many new events and activities each year.

The Graduate Experience

For prospective students

Prospective Graduate Students

Graduate course information

Graduate Students should consult with their special committee in choosing courses. Guidelines can be found in the "yellow book”.

General descriptions of the courses can be found in the course catalog, and scheduling information in the course/time roster.

Course of Study