Prospective PhD Student Information

2024 Application period is now closed

General GRE and Physics GRE scores are OPTIONAL for 2024 PhD program applications. See more on applying here.

Informational Webinars

Each year we hold joint webinars with the Yale Applied Physics and Astronomy Departments.

2023 Webinars -

Physics Only Webinar
Watch Recording Here, Slides

Physics & Astronomy - Joint Webinar
Watch Recording Here, Physics Slides, Astro Slides

Physics & Applied Physics - Joint Webinar
Watch Recording Here, Physics Slides, Applied Physics Slides

Prior webinars can be found on our media page.

Research & Discovery

The Department of Physics offers studies in a wide range of fields and encourages cross-disciplinary studies between various Yale departments as well. The Department has a diverse faculty pool with the majority of professors having their primary appointment in the Physics Department. The specific interests of the Department’s faculty members fall into several areas of research which are detailed on the Department’s Research Page

Community & Belonging

We continue to value and encourage diversity in our program. We actively promote the shared values of respect, commitment to students’ well-being, an environment of inclusivity and community, and integrity in all our work as laid out in our Statement of Principles. Our graduate students to have an active voice in shaping the future direction of our program and are very active in our Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC) and other program and policy planning committees.

Education & Legacy

Graduate students spend their first four semesters taking both core courses and getting involved in research, with full time research starting in the summer of their second year. The average graduate takes approximately six years to complete the program as described in our PhD timeline. Our alumni go to prestigious positions in academia and industry. You can check out more about the exciting work previous students have completed on our Alumni page.

Getting off on the right foot

Students who are accepted into our program are invited to join our Early Start program and our Physics Fundamentals Bootcamp.

The Early Start program is geared towards students who want to start their research with a particular faculty member before the start of their first fall semester. Early Start students can begin their paid research anytime between June 1st – August 1st by contacting a faculty member and requesting to join their lab. Applications for the Early Start Program become available in early May and can be requested from the Physics Registrar, Stacey Watts.

Incoming students who would like a refresher on the fundamentals of classical and quantum mechanics before jumping into classes, are invited to join our yearly Physics Fundamentals Bootcamp. This two-week program starts in early August and is a great way to ease into first-year core courses, meet other incoming class members, and form study groups. Students interested should contact Rona Ramos, our Graduate Program Coordinator.

Supporting our Students

Each of our students receive a generous stipend, free health insurance for themselves, and fully subsidized tuition. Physics students are expected to serve as teaching fellows, for four terms, learning the fundamentals of teaching as part of their professional development in the program.  Depending on the level of support available to individual laboratories, some students may teach more than others. Many students choose to continue teaching past their requirements for the experience and extra funds.

Extracurriculars, Outreach, & Leisure

During their free time, many of our students enjoy participating in our departmental student organizations and university cultural centers, student groups and activities.  New Haven, and its surrounding towns, have many restaurants, art & cultural events, and recreational activities to enjoy. Yale is situated 90 minutes from New York and 2 ½ hours from Boston with convenient transportation options offered. 

Department Statistics

Historical Department Matriculation, Graduation, and Employment Data

Still wondering “Why Yale”?


More information about our program can be found in our graduate program handbook and on the Graduate School of Arts and Science Program and Policies website. To find out more about our program, register here.

Feel free to reach out with any questions to our Graduate Program Team, listed below. We are happy to hear from you.


Helen Caines, Director of Graduate Admissions,
Daisuke Nagai, Director of Graduate Studies,
Rona Ramos, Graduate Program Coordinator,
Stacey Watts, Graduate Registrar,
Karsten Heeger, Department Chair,