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Department of Physics Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Wake Forest University

  • Winston-Salem, NC
  • Private
  • Suburban
  • 15%85%
    student ratio
  • 27
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • January 15
    fall application deadline
  • 32%
    acceptance rate
  • 2 Degrees
    degrees offered


Beautiful Campus and Sense of Community associated with Liberal Arts College while Providing Research Opportunities and State-of-the-Art Facilities of a Research-1 University.

Wake Forest University is consistently ranked in the top 30 (top 10%) of Tier-1 Doctoral Program Universities (#27 out of 291 in the 2012 US News and World Report), which attests to the overall high quality learning environment. It has about 4500 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students (not counting business, law and medical students). Wake Forest has the feel and sense of community typically associated with a liberal arts college while possessing the resources and state-of-the-art facilities of a research-1 university. Graduate students at Wake Forest can take advantage of numerous research opportunities on campus in the main Olin Physics building, the off-campus Center of Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, or the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Choices in research fields within the Department of Physics include: biophysics; condensed matter; nanotechnology and nanophysics; organic electronics, gravitation, field theory, and particle physics; optical and laser physics; computational physics; and physics of medicine.

Typically, all students receive a teaching assistantship (TA) or research assistant ship (RA).

All graduate students in the Department of Physics, regardless of whether they are pursuing a Ph.D. or M.S. degree, conduct their own research pertinent to their field of study, in accord with their thesis and dissertation.

The Olin Physical Laboratory is used for both teaching and research in the graduate program, and provides several areas ideal for individual study times. The Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials is the newest addition to the campus's research facilities, and features over 6,000 square feet of space used by students, the local community, and industrial partners.

The program in Structural and Computational Biology offers physics students many benefits, such as a range of first rate imaging and microscopy instruments (atomic force, confocal fluorescence and electron microscopes), X-ray diffraction laboratory, biomolecular computing and graphics facility, biomolecular resource facility, and protein NMR and mass spectrometry equipment. Irradiation equipment and several spectrophotometers are all found within the department.

Femto second, time-resolved laser spectroscopy is used to study the interaction of light and high energy radiation with solids. The work is of a fundamental nature relating to solid-state light emitters, scintillators for radiation detection and imaging, metamaterials aiming for negative index and novel light manipulation, nanostructured materials in concert with the WFU Nanotech Center, and photovoltaic and photocatalytic materials for energy conversion.

Several research groups perform theoretical and computational research. Any student requiring vast amounts of computation for their research will become familiar with the powerful DEAC Linux cluster computer network. Theoretical and computational research areas include astrophysics and gravitational physics, biophysics, structural biology, drug discovery, energy and lithium ion battery materials, functional density theory.

Admission to the Graduate Program Offers Students Several Financial Aid, Scholarship, and Fellowship Opportunities

In order to apply for WFU's graduate program in physics, a student must use the online portal to submit both the application and associated fee. Every application must include three letters of reference, official transcripts, GRE scores, and TOEFL results for international students. The Physics subject GRE is recommended, but not required.

When graduate students are admitted, they are automatically considered for financial aid opportunities. Typically, all admitted students receive tuition waivers, research or teaching fellowships ($ 20,000 in 2012/13), health insurance and a fully loaded Lenovo laptop computer. Scholarships such as the Dean's fellowship, the Hearst minority fellowship, and external fellowships further enhance the fellowships.

Interdisciplinary Research, Close Relationships with Faculty and Special Graduate Degree Programs Invite Students to WFU

WFU has been ranked highly by various reviewers for high graduation rates, notable achievements by alumni, interdisciplinary research opportunities and accomplishments, and the ability of students to work closely with the faculty. Several special programs within the Department of Physics allow PhD and MS candidates the opportunity to take advantage of these impressive characteristics.

A degree in structural and computational biophysics is made available to both PhD and MS students looking for a more specialized study area. A program in medical physics allows students to collaborate with and work under faculty members from the School of Medicine.

Finally, the fastest-growing area of physics, computational physics, offers students a unique opportunity to pursue a joint degree with a Master of Science in Computer Science (MS) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD). This option is available to students whose research involves extensive computational tasks, so they can earn credit for this expertise learned during their studies. A joint degree usually increases the time to graduation.

Wake Forest University Offers a Premium Liberal Arts Education with an Emphasis on Research in the Town of Winston-Salem

Wake Forest University is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and is known for small faculty-student ratios combined with stellar research programs. Wake Forest is ranked among the top 30 (top 10%) of tier-1 national doctoral universities (US News & World Report). Student life on campus frequently centers on the NCAA Division I varsity sports teams with the mascot known as the Demon Deacons.

When not cheering their teams on, students will frequently take advantage of the evening shuttle service from campus to downtown Winston-Salem. Here, it's quite easy to see a movie, catch a play or live music performance, go shopping, or enjoy a meal at one of the many area restaurants.

Outside of town, the many natural wonders of North Carolina abound. A two-hour drive brings students to the Blue Ridge Mountain range, where ski resorts cater to weekend guests all winter long. Summer months present a unique opportunity to explore the mountains or the beaches of both South and North Carolina, located only four hours away from WFU.

Location & Contact

Department of Physics

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Wake Forest University

PO Box 7373 Reynolda Station
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States

Dr. Martin Guthold


Phone: 336-758-4977
Fax: 336-758-6142

Ms. Carol DiGiantommaso

Admissions Coordinator

Phone: 336-758-5301
Fax: 336-758-74230

Contact school now

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Physics Master of Science (MS)
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees 4
    • 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? No
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Required
    • Doctoral Degrees Required and Required
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


32% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 46
    • Accepted 15
    • Acceptance Rate 32
    • Enrolled 10
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $60
    • Application Fee - International $60
    • 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 DegreesGRE General Test
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, TOEFL iBT

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *Not Reported
    • Out-of-state tuition *Not Reported
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this insitution 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 insitution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsJanuary 15
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Research Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Tuition Waivers, Financial Support for Part-time Students, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students27
    • Female Percentage15%
    • Male Percentage85%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students27
    • Part-time Percentage4%
    • Full-time Percentage96%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino0%
    • Black / African American0%
    • White / Caucasian100%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian0%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown0%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty24
    • Full-time Percentage88%
    • Part-time Percentage12%
    • Female Percentage12%
    • Male Percentage88%

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