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Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Johns Hopkins University

  • Baltimore, MD
  • Private
  • Urban
  • 16%84%
    student ratio
  • 117
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • January 15
    fall application deadline
  • 19%
    acceptance rate
  • 2 Degrees
    degrees/awards offered


Students Tackle Universe's Most Complex Questions

The Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University represents one of the leading research programs in its field. Some of the department's groundbreaking contributions have included the landing of the first spacecraft on an asteroid and mapping invisible "dark matter" in unprecedented detail.

Graduate students probe some of the most complex questions on the nature of the universe through research guided by a highly renowned faculty of experts.

The department specializes in 4 specific areas of research: astrophysics, condensed matter physics, elementary particle physics, and plasma physics.

Researchers commonly collaborate with experts from other institutes, either at Johns Hopkins' own highly regarded Applied Physics Laboratory and Space Telescope Science Institute, or at other leading labs, such as the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) or Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL).

The Department of Physics and Astronomy prepares students to excel as teachers, researchers, or industry professionals in fields such as biophysics, space physics, and astrophysics.

Department Focuses on Doctoral Study

The department primarily functions for doctoral degree study and research, offering Ph.D. degrees in physics or astronomy and astrophysics. Students intending to pursue master's degrees are not directly admitted to the program. However, students may choose to receive a Master of Arts degree in Physics during the course of their studies.

In their first two years, students focus on preliminary examinations (both written and oral) and required coursework.

During their second or third year, students partner with an adviser and begin progress toward a thesis. Students have the option of conducting their dissertation research either at the Department of Physics and Astronomy or either partly or entirely at other locations. Recent dissertation research has been done in the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and Space Telescope Science Institute, as well as other national laboratories, including Brookhaven National Laboratory, SLAC, FNAL, and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.


Astrophysics researchers pursue far-reaching topics, ranging from cosmology to the study of solar systems and the formation of galaxies. A Johns Hopkins team in this field is credited with accurately measuring, for the first time ever, the age of the universe, and the university is working with NASA on the upcoming dark energy space mission.

JHU astrophysicists are also among the world's top developers of new astronomical tools, and the department is a member of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which is imaging a quarter of the sky to obtain spectra for a million galaxies, 100,000 quasars, and other objects.

The school is one of only a few universities involved in building, flying, and analyzing data from space instrumentation. The astrophysics program's Center for Astrophysical Sciences plays a key role in the activities, developing instrumentation for the observations, observing astronomy from the ground and space, and tackling concepts in theoretical astrophysics.

Condensed Matter Physics

Research in condensed matter physics focuses on a variety of issues, including magnetism, critical phenomena, transport properties, pattern formation, and nonequilibrium processes. Additional fields of study that are relatively new to this area of research include nanostructured materials, magnetic and superconducting multilayers, granular metals, and metal superlattices.

Two centers play key roles in condensed matter physics research: the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, which focuses on nanostructured materials; and the Johns Hopkins-Princeton Institute for Quantum Matter, funded by the Department of Energy, which works to discover and understand materials dominated by quantum coherence and quantum correlations.

Elementary Particle Physics

Researchers in elementary particle physics at Johns Hopkins conduct experimental programs that investigate the behavior of elementary particles and their interactions.

The elementary particle physics group belongs to the CDF Collaboration at Fermilab Tevatron Collider, the BaBar Collaboration at the SLAC PEP-II Collider, and the CMS Collaboration at the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

The group specializes in silicon-based precise tracking technology, mainly used to identify short-lived particles in high energy collisions. In addition to ongoing studies of b-hadrons produced in hadronic collisions at the Tevatron, the group is involved in the construction and commissioning of the silicon pixel tracking system of the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider.

Plasma Spectroscopy

Funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Plasma Spectroscopy Group at Johns Hopkins University is focused on the development of far ultraviolet and soft X-ray spectroscopic instrumentation for experiments in magnetic fusion energy (MFE) and the study of high temperature plasmas.

Research in this field includes topics concerning fusion plasma physics, such as magneto-hydrodynamic stability and particle and energy transport, and atomic physics.

The group has helped develop advanced diagnostic systems that integrate advanced detectors and X-ray optics. The systems have been implemented in major MFE experiments, including the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and the C-Mod tokamak at MIT.

Admissions and Financial Support

Students applying to Johns Hopkins' Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy are required to submit a full application, including: recent GRE scores (general and subject), 3 letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a statement of purpose. International students also need a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score.

Teaching and research assistantships are available to students, providing full tuition remission and a salary stipend, and fellowships are sometimes available.

Johns Hopkins University

With campuses and facilities in Baltimore, Maryland, and surrounding areas, Johns Hopkins University is one of the world's most renowned scientific institutions.

The university has produced dozens of Nobel Prize winners, including the winners of 2 Nobel Prizes in Physics and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919 -- former President Woodrow Wilson.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is located at the university's Homewood Campus, in the north Baltimore neighborhood of Charles Village.

Location & Contact

Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy

Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
Johns Hopkins University

3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-2699
United States

Dr. Daniel Reich


Phone: 410-516-7346
Fax: 410-516-7239

Mrs. Carmelita King

Academic Affairs Administrator

Phone: 410-516-7344
Fax: 410-516-7239

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Astronomy Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Physics Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 20
    • Doctoral Degrees 17
    • 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? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


19% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 231
    • Accepted 44
    • Acceptance Rate 19
    • Enrolled 14
  • 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 January 15th January 15th Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, GRE Subject Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 600 paper based, TOEFL iBT, IELTS required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *Not Reported
    • Out-of-state tuition *Not Reported
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year feesNot Reported
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsApril 15
    • Types of financial support availableTuition Waivers, Career or Field-Related Internships, Federal Work-Study, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students117
    • Female Percentage16%
    • Male Percentage84%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students117
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Full-time Percentage100%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino4%
    • Black / African American1%
    • White / Caucasian79%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian7%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races5%
    • Unknown4%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty44
    • Full-time Percentage68%
    • Part-time Percentage32%
    • Female Percentage11%
    • Male Percentage89%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchHigh-energy physics, condensed-matter, astrophysics, particle and experimental physics, plasma physics
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$24,910,296




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