Welcome to the Yale University Department of Physics Graduate Program. The purpose of this handbook is to provide you with a summary of the important information you will need as you make your way through the graduate curriculum, carry out your research, complete your thesis, and thrive during your time with us.

In the initial years, when you are learning to teach and carrying a heavy load of classes, graduate school can feel overwhelming. Support from the Physics community is critical for your success and overall well-being during this challenging time. The Physics Chair, Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), and graduate program team encourage you to communicate frequently and freely with them. Much of your learning will happen outside of the classroom, in conversations and problem-solving sessions with your colleagues. We encourage you to collaborate with your fellow students to learn the vast amount of material you need to  reaching the forefront of research. Physics study and research is a collaborative experience that should be both challenging and exciting.

This handbook summarizes some of the administrative requirements you will have to fulfill traversing the program. If you encounter any errors or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Physics Registrar and/or the DGS. Please refer to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Annual Programs and Policies Bulletin for more detailed official information.

Students are reminded that the Graduate School’s policies must be followed and supersede those of the department.

Statement of Principles and Learning Objective

The Department of Physics is committed to fostering an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion for every member of our department community, as we strive for excellence in research, teaching, and mentoring.  We are led by our department’s Statement of Principles and our following learning objectives. 

Learning Objectives -

  • Students will acquire a general foundational knowledge of physics at the graduate level and the necessary accompanying methodological aspects of mathematics, computing, and instrumentation.

  • Students will learn to identify and solve problems at the frontier of physics knowledge, uphold standards of scientific integrity, and disseminate their research.

  • Students will become educators and communicators with the ability to promote an understanding and appreciation of physics across the university and in society.

Department members and students will work together to develop and realize, in the department and the community, progress, and success in diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the scientific enterprise.