Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Graduate Studies in Physics

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Faculty Information

Department Information

The Physics Department at SMU is looking for talented young people who have a passion in physics and are prepared
to seek a Ph.D. in frontiers such as particle physics and the search of dark matter. We offer Teaching ad Research
Assistantships (TA and RA) to qualified candidates.  We begin consideration of applications in January and make awards
in March. Our department provides an intellectually stimulating research environment where our graduate students can
participate in and make substantive contributions to frontier research projects.  The research projects provide opportunities
to work in leading particle physics laboratories: CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, Fermilab near Chicago and the Soudan
Underground Laboratory in Minnesota.

We have an excellent faculty-student ratio, and an established history of training excellent students; our recent Ph.D. graduates took prestigious postdoc positions with Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California, Caltech, the Fermi National Laboratory and University of Barcelona in Spain.  All of our experimental faculty members have federal support for their research, and this enables us to fund RA positions and allow students to travel to topical conferences and workshops.

Degrees Offered

PhD. Students may also earn an MS en route to a PhD.

On the theoretical side, our department includes the following specialties:
Theoretical particle physics and phenomenology, internal structure of proton and other hadrons, search for the Higgs boson, and Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics.

On the experimental side, graduate students can participate the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, NOvA at Fermilab, and SuperCDMS at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota.

The experimental group has a substantial role in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron
Collider at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. We are involved in the construction, commissioning and operations of the Liquid Argon electromagnetic calorimeter and its associated electronics. The experiment is going through an upgrade and will be operate at a higher energy in 2015, providing the opportunities to measure the newly discovered Higgs boson, and to discover new physics.  In Dallas, we work on development of data analysis software. We also have the optoelectronics lab in which we develop ASICs and optical link systems that are in leading positions in experimental particle physics.  

The group is an inaugural member of NOvA, a long baseline neutrino experiment based at

Fermilab and that laboratory’s flagship experiment. NOvA will measure various fundamental neutrino oscillation parameters as well as look for CP violation in the neutral lepton sector, possibly related to the observed matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe. Working on-site at Fermilab is encouraged.

The group is a member of the SuperCDMS Dark Matter experiment, which uses novel low-temperature devices to search for signals from Dark Matter particles.

Experimental graduate students working in collider physics typically are resident in Dallas for the first 2 or 3 years, and then may relocate to the experiment site to finish their degree.

Application Requirements

As part of the application process for the Physics Department you are required to take the general GRE as well as the Subject Test in Physics. To learn more about the subject test please go to to learn about the content specifications of the exam and to download a “practice book” if needed. 

Deadlines for Admission

Priority deadline for fall admission is February 1.

Final deadline for fall admission is May 1.

Department Assistantships

All applications to be considered for department assistantships must be completed by the priority deadline of
February 1 

Note: Applications received after February 1 will be considered for any remaining funds and openings.