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

For suggestions or corrections to the Web site, email the


Graduate program Overview

Stimulating instruction and research are hallmarks of the Department of Physics at Montana State University which has been educating creative and productive scientists since 1964. The MSU physics program offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The physics faculty, with over 30 members, is committed to maintaining close contact with its more than 60 graduate students and postdoctoral scientists. As you read our literature, explore our web site and talk to our students, you will discover a faculty recognized worldwide for its research and teaching.

Students and Postdocs work with an optical-image furnace to grow single crystals of advanced materials

Our research facilities include a new building, the Engineering and Physical Science (EPS) Building, housing state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment. External collaborations bring national and international experts to the department and open opportunities for research to be conducted at other world-class laboratories around the globe. On-campus interdisciplinary research programs include the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Center for Biofilm Engineering and others. Research collaborations with local industries are also actively pursued. Collectively, our research groups foster interactions among the faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs., visiting scientist and other departments.

Our graduates have an excellent record of finding employment in academia and industry, including high tech companies in the Bozeman area. We hope that when you consider the opportunity to perform cutting edge physics research while interacting with world renowned faculty and other international experts, all in beautiful surroundings that offer the widest variety of outdoor activities, you will choose graduate study in physics at Montana State University.

"The science of physics seeks to understand the behavior of matter and energy at the most fundamental level. The sister sciences of chemistry, earth sciences, and biological sciences build on the laws of physics and rely on many instruments originally devised by physicists. Physics underlies engineering and most of modern technology, and it plays a basic and essential role in our economy and our culture."
-- National Academy of Science Report



Applicants are required to complete the Graduate Record Examination General Test as well as the Subject (Advanced) test in Physics. For those whose native language is not English, the results of the TOEFL and the TSE examinations must be submitted. An overall score of 80 is required for any international student wanting to pursue graduate studies. A score of 26 on the speaking portion is required for Teaching Assistantship awards. While there is no closing date for applications, those received by January 1st will be given first priority, and notification of admission will be given by March 15th. The Department of Physics accepts new graduates in the Fall term only.
Applications can be completed online at

  Financial Assistance

Most physics graduate students are awarded financial aid throughout their graduate program in the form of research and teaching assistantships, fellowships, health care and fee waivers.

  Course Offerings

Courses in advanced topics such as General Relativity, Non-Linear Optics, and Astrophysics are offered in addition to the core graduate physics curriculum.

For more details on the admissions process, financial assistance and course offerings, refer to the other links for prospective graduate students.



Updated: March 12, 2015 10:13