Frequently Asked Questions About the Application Process

  1. Who must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?
    The TOEFL is required of all applicants from countries in which the native language is not English.
    See Exceptions:
  2. How do I apply for an assistantship?
    There is no separate application. We strive to offer assistantships to all incoming Ph.D. program students.
  3. Are foreign students eligible for financial aid beyond that provided by their assistantship?
    No. See the UMass Financial Aid website – Typically, all students accepted into the Physics Ph.D. Program are given financial support in the form of an assistantship.
  4. What are my chances of being admitted and receiving an assistantship?
    On the basis of recent experience, we hope to be able to offer assistantships to all entering Physics doctoral (Ph.D.) students. Master's (M.S.) students are not eligible for assistantships.
  5. Must I take the GRE Subject Test in Physics?
    No GRE exams are currently required for application to our program (fall 2024 applicants).
  6. Can the application fee be waived?
    There are only a few conditions under which fees may be waived.  For more information, see
  7. Can I delay payment of the application fee until I enroll at the University?
    No. The fee must be sent with the application or your application will not processed.
  8. Before I pay the application fee, can you look at my application and tell me if I will be accepted and/or given an assistantship?
    No. This would amount to a waiver or delay of payment, which we are not authorized to approve.
  9. Can I apply for the Spring semester?
    The Physics Department does not accept students for the Spring semester at this time. It may be possible to apply for the fall and defer to the spring, but this is not recommended as it puts you out of sync with the core course sequence.
  10. When will I receive a decision on my application?

    The first acceptances and assistantship offers may be made as early as mid-December. By mid-March the first round of offers will be made. Additional offers of acceptance will be made to students on the waiting list if openings become available.
  11. Do I have to pay for housing, food, and parking?
    Yes. This is not included in your tuition and cannot be waived.

We look forward to the opportunity to consider your application. You can help us and yourself by completing the process early.

Physics Graduate Admissions Committee