Department of Physics College of Science Northeastern University

Department of Physics College of Science Northeastern University

Boston, MA
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
February 1
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
2 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Department of Physics at Northeastern University

Graduate students in the Physics Department at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts engage in scholarship and research with internationally recognized faculty members within a hub of high tech research centers and government laboratories that bring a flow of well-known scholars into the department's seminars and colloquia. Graduate students have access to state-of-the-art facilities both within the department and at affiliated research laboratories. The department offers both a full-time and part-time Master of Science (MS) program as well as a full-time PhD program. Graduate students can complete experimental or theoretical programs in biological physics, medical physics, elementary and particle physics, condensed matter or nanophysics, and network science.

An Internationally Recognized Faculty

The physics faculty at Northeastern University is world renowned and includes 12 Fellows of the American Physical Society. Professor Laszlo Barabási has received numerous prizes as a leader in the field of network science. His latest book "Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do" (Dutton, 2010) is available in five languages. His work lead to the discovery of scale-free networks in 1999, and he proposed the Barabasi-Albert model to explain their widespread emergence in natural, technological and social systems, from the cellular telephone to the WWW or online communities. Matthews Distinguished University Professor Pran Nath co-authored the first supergravity theory with Richard Arnowitt and subsequently developed the field of supergravity grand unification, and in particular the mSUGRA model, which are leading candidates for discovery at CERN and Fermilab. Distinguished Professor Srinivas Sridhar's work in left-handed metamaterials has earned considerable acclaim. He currently serves as the Director of the IGERT Nanomedicine Science and Technology NCI/NSF Program and Director of the Electronic Materials Research Institute. In addition, other faculty members have received prestigious awards, such as the Bruce Chalmers Award in Materials Science (Professor Alain Karma), Sloan Research Fellowships, NIH Career Development Awards, National Science Foundation Career Awards, and many others.

Flexible MS Programs for Full-Time Students and Working Professionals

The Physics Department at Northeastern University offers a 32 semester hour Master of Science (MS) degree for full-time and part-time graduate students. Students can choose between 2 options: a standard physics MS with or without a thesis, in which the thesis replaces 8 semester hours of coursework; or an MS degree with a concentration in materials physics, engineering physics, biophysics, applied physics, chemical physics, mathematical physics, or computational physics.

A Rigorous Physics Doctoral Program

The Physics Department also offers a 5-year full-time PhD program in Physics with concentrations in subfields, such as condensed matter physics, elementary particle physics, and biological physics. Students complete a qualifying exam, required coursework, a preliminary research seminar, a dissertation, and a dissertation defense. Doctoral students qualify for research and teaching assistantships cover tuition, medical coverage, and a generous stipend.

Conferences, Colloquia, and Seminars

The Physics Colloquium meets regularly several times a month. The colloquia are part of a consortium that includes Northeastern, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, Tufts, Brandeis, and Boston College. These colloquia give graduate students the opportunity to engage with top researchers from all over the world. Other more specialized seminars are offered each week, including network science, condensed matter, and particle physics. An active seminar series is also sponsored by the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Complex Systems. Additional talks are given by visiting scholars and in meetings of the graduate journal club and in other sub-group meetings within the department such as the weekly Biophysics lunch seminar.

The elementary particle theory group in the Physics Department at Northeastern initiated the PArticles, Strings and COSmology (PASCOS) conferences which drew such well-regarded participants as Stephen Hawking. The group also initiated the SUperSYmmetry and Unification of Fundamental Interactions (SUSY) conference series in 1993, originally at Northeastern, but which since has been held at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), the Ecole Polytechnique (Paris), the Fermilab, CERN, and other prominent locations. Other groups within the department have also organized a variety of National and International scientific meetings.

State-of-the Art Research Facilities

The Egan Engineering/Science Research Center has semiconductor, molecular biophysics, and new materials science laboratories. These labs include a broad range of spectroscopic instrumentation spanning the electromagnetic spectrum, Fourier transform interferometers, a 14 Tesla superconducting magnet, a SQUID magnetometer, an MBE for crystal growth, an Ultrahigh Vacuum, Scanning Electron Microscopy, and other state-of-the-art equipment. The department also houses laboratories, a large machine shop, and conference rooms, and offices at the Dana Research Center. In addition, graduate students and faculty conduct research at large scale centers such as the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina, Fermilab, CERN, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Brookhaven National Laboratories, and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida.

Wide-Ranging Research

Graduate students and faculty members conduct wide-ranging research, bringing them to the forefront of research in many fields. In the field of experimental condensed matter, faculty members are investigating nanomagnetism, nanotechnology, nanoparticle synthesis, spintronics, superconductors, semiconductors, ferromagnets, left-handed metamaterials, mesoscopic physics, and quantum chaos. Theoretical condensed matter research is carried out in close cooperation with experimental condensed matter physics and molecular biophysics. Molecular biophysics researchers are exploring the structure and function of macromolecules, focusing on heme-containing molecules, green fluorescent protein, ribosome activity, and DNA-protein interactions. Researchers in elementary particle physics have created models, such as the SUGRA models, to overcome the limitations of the standards model of the strong and electro-weak interactions. Northeastern physics faculty members and graduate students are also involved in experimental high-energy physics at Fermilab, CERN, and the Pierre Auger Observatory. In addition, the Physics Department is strongly connected to the Center for Complex Network Research, which explores complex networks in metabolism, genetics, ecology, and other systems.

A Leading University in a Medical and Biotechnology Center

Northeastern University is a leading experiential research institute located in Boston, a city that serves as high tech center with many of the top hospitals and prominent research institutions.

The university has an undergraduate population of almost 16,000, while the number of graduate students exceeds 3,500. The school's unique co-op program places students with large corporations such as Google and Turner Entertainment Networks International, engineering firms such as Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, financial institutions such as Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, and non-profits and government institutions, such as the Geneva Center for Security Policy and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Location & Contact

Department of Physics

College of Science
Northeastern University

360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-5096
United States

Dr. Mark Williams

Graduate Coordinator

Phone: 617-373-7323
Fax: 617-373-2943

Ms. Nancy Wong

Administrative Assistant for Graduate Affairs

Phone: 617-363-4240
Fax: 617-373-2943

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Physics Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 12
    • Doctoral Degrees 5
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


32% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 171
    • Accepted 55
    • Acceptance Rate 32
    • Enrolled 23
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $75
    • Application Fee - International $75
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline February 1st February 1st Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test, GRE Subject Test
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, GRE Subject Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, TOEFL iBT

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsMarch 1
    • Types of financial support availableResearch Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Tuition Waivers, Federal Work-Study, Health Care Benefits, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students75
    • Female Percentage15%
    • Male Percentage85%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students75
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Full-time Percentage100%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / LatinoNot Reported
    • Black / African AmericanNot Reported
    • White / CaucasianNot Reported
    • American Indian / Alaskan NativeNot Reported
    • AsianNot Reported
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific IslanderNot Reported
    • Two or more racesNot Reported
    • UnknownNot Reported


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty40
    • Full-time Percentage75%
    • Part-time Percentage25%
    • Female Percentage12%
    • Male Percentage88%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchElementary particles and astroparticle physics, nanophysics and condensed matter physics, biological and biomedical physics
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported

Forgot Your Password?

To reset your password, simply enter your email address in the field below and click the Reset Password button. You will receive an email with a link and instructions to reset your password.

Check your email.

Please check your email and click on the link provided in the message to reset your password.