Info: For information on how to apply, please refer to the MSU Graduate School webpage

Specific Requirements to Apply to the Department of Physics

Before your application can be reviewed for admission, all of the items listed below must be submitted by the

Application Deadline of January 1st

New graduates are accepted for Fall term only. Applications received by January 1st will be acted upon and notification of admission  by April 15th. Applications received after January 1st will be treated individually on a "space-available" basis. Assistantships and fellowships will normally be awarded by April 15th. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered. The absolute closing date for Fall admission  each year is May 1st of each year. For a complete application, all of the following points should be 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


Item required



GRE Scores (General and Physics)

All applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination(GRE) General (Aptitude)  Test and Subject (GRE-physics) Test in Physics before submitting their applications (click here for GRE guidelines).


Graduate Application Form

Application can be found here.


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.


Official Transcripts

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. For example, student attends institution A and receives 72 credits. The student then transfers to institution B where a bachelor's degree is granted. The Division of Graduate Studies will need transcripts from both institutions 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.


Three letters of Recommendation

Recommendations should be from individuals qualified to assess your ability and potential as a graduate student.


Submit your application ($60 application fee)



  • Applicants claiming Montana state residency must complete the appropriate residency sections 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 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.
    • 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

For questions regarding graduate admissions and application material, please contact Margaret Jarrett. This is also the address for paper applications:

Margaret Jarrett, Graduate Admissions
Department of Physics
Montana State University 
P.O. Box 173840
Bozeman, MT 59717-3840