Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Graduate Studies in Physics

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Faculty Information

Department Information

The Physics Department at SMU has available a number of Teaching Assistantships and tuition waivers. We begin consideration of applications in January and make awards in March. Our department provides ar 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 and Fermilab near Chicago. 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, Fermilab 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

M.S. and Ph.D.

On the theoretical side, our department includes the following specialties:

  • Theoretical particle physics and phenomenology, internal structure of the 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, DO at the Tevatron, NOvA at Fermilab, BaBar at SLAG, and CDMS in Minnesota.
  • The experimental group has a substantial role in the ATLAS experiment at 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 searching for new physics, including the Higgs boson and Supersymmetric particles, at the highest energies accessible. In Dallas, we work on the design of the super-fas1 digital electronics for future upgrades and on development of data analysis software.
  • 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 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

Applications for Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

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 (see exceptions above).  Applications received after the February 1 priority deadline will be considered for any unfilled openings.

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