The Department of Physics & Astronomy at Vanderbilt University offers graduate students the opportunity to do original research working side-by-side with world-renowned faculty. We are large enough to include a wide range of research programs – from astronomy and cosmology to biological and medical physics, condensed matter / materials, and particle, nuclear and relativistic heavy-ion physics – all while remaining small enough to provide a friendly, welcoming environment. The department presently has 27 full-time faculty, approximately an equal number of postdoctoral research associates, and about 60 graduate students. We offer programs leading to PhD degrees in Physics or Astrophysics (with options for earning MA or MS degrees in route to the PhD or by completing a Master’s thesis, respectively).
- opportunities to access specialized facilities associated with on-campus interdisciplinary research centers such as the
- Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative BioSystems Research and Education (VIIBRE);
- Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (VINSE), and
- Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science (VUIIS);
- opportunities to access high-performance computing resources available through the
- Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education (ACCRE);
- and opportunities to participate in international research collaborations and travel to their national and international research facilities such as the
- Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS),
- Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST; in Chile),
- Small and Moderate Aperture Research Telescope System (SMARTS; in Chile),
- Joint Institute for Heavy-Ion Physics and Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN);
- Large Hadron Collider at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland),
- Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory (New York),
- Swiss Light Source, and the
- National High Magnetic-Field Laboratory (Florida).
We then invite you to contact us and to visit if you are able. Vanderbilt is located in the mid-town section of Nashville, Tennessee – a vibrant and growing city known for good reason as the “Athens of the South.” A visit is certainly the best way to experience Nashville’s vitality, our department’s welcoming spirit, and our faculty’s state-of-the-art research programs.
We also invite you to apply to join our program. We are looking for motivated students who want to make an impact on our understanding of the universe. Our students publish articles in top journals, attend national and international scientific conferences, and find careers in industry, academia and government laboratories. Graduate admissions are highly selective, but admitted students are offered 5-year packages of support with full tuition waivers, health insurance coverage and competitive stipends. We also pay for admitted domestic students to visit campus before accepting our offer to get a firsthand glimpse of the Vanderbilt experience. We hope you’ll consider joining us for the next step on your educational journey.
Please feel free to contact us if you’d like to learn more.
Prof. Shane Hutson, Department Chair
Prof. Julia Velkovska, Director of Graduate Studies, Physics
Prof. Andreas Berlind, Director of Graduate Studies, Astrophysics