The first Ph.D. in physics from Rice was awarded in 1920, as the second doctorate earned at the university. Since then, the Physics and Astronomy graduate program has grown to an enrollment of about 110, with 15 to 20 students arriving each year. Forty doctoral degrees have been awarded in the past five years, and recent graduates hold positions in academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial laboratories, and entrepreneurial enterprises.
The department now offers graduate programs for a wide range of interests. Research facilities and thesis supervision are available for M.S. and Ph.D. students in atomic, molecular and optical physics, biophysics, condensed matter and surface physics, earth systems science, nuclear and particle physics, observational astronomy, solar system physics, space plasma physics, and theoretical physics and astrophysics. Students in the professional, non-thesis, Masters programs obtain advanced training in astronomy, space science, nanoscale physics, or science teaching.
The department maintains an active colloquium program, bringing men and women to Rice from university, industrial and government laboratories to describe their research. In addition, research groups often conduct specialized seminars. Each year the department invites a prominent physicist to visit Rice for several days to deliver the Houston Memorial Lecture in honor of Professor William V. Houston, former member of the department and President of Rice University from 1946-60. In 1995 a new lecture series was inaugurated in the memory of Professor H. E. Rorschach, a former member and chair of the department.
We encourage applicants to also apply for graduate fellowships from various external agencies, which can increase the resources available to you during your graduate studies and help you in various ways throughout your career.
Links to some opportunities are http://ofur.rice.edu/feed/fellowships/database.aspx
Note to International Students: Individual requests for application status cannot be answered. As support materials are received, they are matched with the respective on-line application. An email will then be sent notifying the applicant.