How to Apply to the Applied Physics Program

Students who wish to be considered for graduate admission to the Applied Physics Program must submit an application to the Graduate School. Applications must be made online. Online applications for enrollment starting in the Fall 2019 academic term will be open on September 1st, 2018. The deadline for applications is December 15, 2018. You must submit the following material in support of the application:

  • Completed online application form and application fee. In the online form, you need to choose Applied Physics to apply to this program. The application fee will be rendered during the online application process. Applications are examined by our program as they are submitted.
  • Official transcripts of work completed or in progress at all colleges or universities attended. While completing your online application, you will be required to submit one scanned copy of your transcript or academic record from each school you have attended. Please do not upload foreign language transcripts unless English language transcripts are impossible to obtain. If you only have access to foreign language transcripts, your foreign language transcripts must be accompanied by an official English translation bearing the original ink signature and seal of the issuing university.

    Please make sure your scanned transcripts are legible before uploading them. Illegible transcripts will not be reviewed.

    If you are recommended for admission and decide to enroll, you will be required to submit one official copy of each of your transcripts to The Graduate School Admission Office. Your transcripts should be sent directly from the issuing institution's Registrar: either mailed in sealed, unopened envelopes or emailed as official, electronic transcripts. Please be sure that your official transcripts list all degrees that you have earned prior to enrolling at Northwestern University. New students will not be permitted to register for their second quarter of study until all official transcripts (including degree awarding transcripts) have been received by The Graduate School.

    Please do not submit copies of your transcripts to The Graduate School before you have been admitted AND submitted your enrollment decision. Any transcript submitted prior to that point will not be kept and you will be required to submit those transcripts again. The Graduate School's address is listed below.

    Northwestern University
    The Graduate School
    Office of Graduate Admission
    633 Clark Street
    Evanston, IL 60208-1113

    Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between uploaded and official transcript(s) will result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from Northwestern University.

  • At least three letters of recommendation from professors familiar with your work. Letters of recommendation are very important; choose your recommenders wisely. The Graduate School's admission committees are interested in recommendation letters from those who are most able to assess your academic and research abilities in areas related to your field of study. Letters of recommendation must be submitted online. When you enter your recommender's contact information on the online application form, an email is immediately sent to your recommender with instructions. It is your responsibility to ensure that we receive all letters by December 15.
  • Results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Official Results of the physics GRE. For both the general and physics GRE exams, we will accept the results of exams taken before December 15 even if we do not receive the scores until after December 15. Use institution code 1565 to send scores to NU.
  • For non-native English-speaking students, official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum TOEFL score of 577 (paper test), 233 (computer test), or 90 (Internet-based test) is required for admission to Northwestern. Non-native English-speaking students who wish to work as Teaching Assistants must take the TOEFL-iBT (Internet-based Test) and achieve a minimum score of 26 on the oral part. The paper and computer TOEFL exams are not acceptable to serve as a Teaching Assistant; these qualify you only for admission. Students who have previously scored a 45 on the old TSE (Test of Spoken English) exam can also serve as Teaching Assistants. Use institution code 1565 to send scores to NU.

The Applied Physics Program does not offer a terminal Master's program, and only students who intend to pursue the PhD are admitted. However, PhD students who satisfactorily complete the first year of classes and pass a comprehensive examination are eligible to receive a Master of Science degree.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Applied Physics Program