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Applied Physics Graduate Program

Rice University offers a Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics. The program does not offer a stand-alone thesis Master of Science degree, although students admitted to the program are required to earn the M.S. within the program before proceeding to the Ph.D.  A joint effort of both the Natural Sciences and the Engineering divisions at Rice, the Applied Physics program is overseen by a committee composed of members from among the Departments of Bioengineering, Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringChemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Physics and Astronomy. The objective is to provide an interdisciplinary graduate education in the basic science that underlies important technology. The faculty believes that the experience obtained by performing research at the intellectually stimulating interface of physical science and engineering is particularly effective in producing graduates who succeed in careers based on new and emerging technologies.

Each person accepted into the Applied Physics program affiliates with a host department upon arrival and receives a 9-month stipend paid by RQI student fellowships.  For the year 2013, these were in the range of $26,400 annually (competitive with other major U.S. academic institutions).  The student chooses an advisor during the first school year according to the deadline set by the program, and the advisor pays the stipend in the 10th month and thereafter. Teaching responsibilities are also determined by host department. Should an Applied Physics student decide after arrival to work with an advisor from a different host department, they may request a change of affiliation.

For additional details about the program, see the Applied Physics Graduate Program Handbook.

Research Facilities

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, the student can access virtually any of the research facilities in either the natural sciences or engineering schools of Rice University. The Applied Physics Committee urges prospective students to contact RQI or individual departments for detailed descriptions of research facilities and ongoing research projects. Within RQI alone, there are over 100 separate projects, and there are numerous other research opportunities.