Montana State University

Department of Physics

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173840
Bozeman, MT 59717-3840

Tel: (406) 994-3614
Fax: (406) 994-4452
Location: EPS building, Room 264

Department Head:
Prof. Yves Idzerda

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Admissions and Application


All the necessary admissions information can be found below, along with the required documentation for application.
Please also refer to the MSU Graduate School online information on how to apply at

If you prefer, graduate admissions application materials can be mailed to you. Please write or email Margaret Jarrett requesting this material at:

Margaret Jarrett, Graduate Admissions
Department of Physics
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3840



Application Requirements

Before your application can be reviewed for admission, all of the items listed below must be submitted. The absolute closing date for Fall admission is June 1st of each year. New graduates are accepted for Fall term only. Applications received before January 1st will be acted upon and notification of admission given by March 15th. Applications received after January 1st will be treated individually on a "space-available" basis. Assistantships and fellowships will normally be awarded by March 15th. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

For a complete application, all of the following points should be completely addressed:-

  • Ensure all forms are filled out completely; list all colleges and universities which you have attended, no matter how brief attendance may have been or whether such attendance is shown on the transcript of another institution.

  • All applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination General (Aptitude) Test and Subject (Advanced) Test in Physics before submitting their applications.

  • All applicants must complete the Graduate Application Form, online or paper

  • All applicants must complete the Physics and Mathematics Course Listing form.

  • All applicants must complete the Physics Graduate Teaching or Research Assistantship Application form.

  • All applicants must complete a ' Personal Statement': please include a personal statement in the form of a short essay which should include personal and academic background, research interests, reasons for selecting this program, and your future aspirations.

  • All applicants must submit transcripts showing proof of a bachelor’s degree, all post-bachelors transcripts, and any transcripts including 60 or more credits taken prior to the completion of a bachelor’s degree (ie: student attends institution A and receives credit for 72 credits. Student then transfers to institution B where bachelor's degree is granted. The Division of Graduate Studies will need transcripts from institution A and B). Request official copies of these transcripts and have them sent to you for inclusion in your application packet. Some schools will refuse to send official transcripts directly to students and in this case, submit an unofficial copy with a note clarifying that the official transcript is enroute from the institution.

  • All applicants must submit 3 letters of recommendation: recommendations should be from individuals qualified to assess your ability and potential as a graduate student. Referees must seal the letter in an envelope and write their signature across the envelope flap. Do not open the recommendation envelopes.

  • All applicants must submit their GRE scores: unofficial scores may be submitted for initial application review. However, you must also request that the Educational Testing Service (PO Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541) send an official copy of your scores to Montana State University. Use school code 4488. The General GRE is required of all applicants, as is the physics subject exam.

  • All applicants to enclose a $60.00 non-refundable application fee, or if applying online $60.00, payable to Montana State University with the application.
  • Applicants claiming Montana state residency must complete the appropriate residency sections (A & C or B & C) in their entirety. Failure to provide all requested information, with accompanying dates, will default your residency status to "Nonresident". Corrections require a lengthy appeals process.

  • International applicants, with exception to the GPA calculation, must also submit an 'International Student Financial Certificate', filled out completely and signed, or your application will be considered incomplete. Documentation of proof of funds must be included for the $28,000 ($U.S.) required for international applicants. Items such as certified bank statements, certificates of deposit, or other verified documentation will be accepted. In the case of a sponsor, the sponsor must sign the financial certificate. If the offer of funds is from MSU, a signed financial certificate from the department/professor will provide proof, but must still be signed by the applicant.

  • International applicants must submit a copy of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (ibtTOEFL). The Educational Testing Service must also be notified to send an official copy of your TOEFL score to Montana State University. Use school code 4488. If you are seeking a Teaching Assistantship, you must receive an overall score of 80, with a minimum score of 26 on the speaking portion. Applicants who have graduated from a university in the United States, or a country in which English is the official language, do not need to submit TOEFL scores for admission.


Online Application

Online application can only be used by applicants who can pay the application fee by credit card at the time of online submission. In addition you must also submit the Physics and Mathematics Course Listing form and Physics Graduate Teaching or Research Assistantship Application form. All supporting documents should be sent directly to the Physics Department at the address above. Completed online applications are downloaded by the Graduate School and forwarded to the Department of Physics for review.

Online Graduate Application



Updated: October 7, 2013 10:49