Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science Columbia University

Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science Columbia University

New York, NY
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
December 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
10 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Columbia University in NYC Offers Leading-edge Graduate Programs in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

Columbia University's Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics offers graduate study leading to the degrees of Master of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Engineering Science (Eng.Sc.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the fields of applied physics, applied mathematics, and materials science and engineering. The graduate program in applied physics includes plasma physics and controlled fusion; solid-state physics; optical and laser physics; medical physics; atmospheric, oceanic, and earth physics; and applied mathematics.

The applied physics program offers a M.S. in Applied Physics, a M.S. in Medical Physics, a Ph.D. in Applied Physics (with a specialty in plasma physics, solid state and optical physics, or medical physics), and an Eng.Sc.D. in Applied Physics (with a concentration in solid state and optical physics).

The applied mathematics program offers a M.S. in Applied Physics/Concentration in Applied Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics. The materials science and engineering program offers a M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering and an Eng.Sc.D. in Materials Science and Engineering.

Renowned Faculty of Graduate Applied Physics and Applied Math Programs Conduct Wide Range of Research

The distinguished faculty of the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics conducts a wide spectrum of active research projects, making the following research fields available for doctoral study: theoretical and experimental plasma physics with a focus on fusion and space plasmas; applied mathematics with focuses on partial differential equations, large-scale scientific computing, nonlinear dynamics, inverse problems, medical imaging, geophysical/geological fluid dynamics, and biomathematics; and solid-state physics with focuses on semiconductor, surface, low-dimensional physics, and molecular electronics.

Optical and laser physics research focuses on laser interactions with matter; nuclear science research delves into medical applications; and Earth science research projects deal with the global issues of atmosphere, ocean, and climate science and geophysics. In addition, materials science and engineering research projects study thin films; nanomaterials; electronic, optical, and magnetic materials; and mechanical response of materials.

M.S. Program in Applied Physics

The Columbia University's master's program in applied physics leads to the Master of Science degree; it emphasizes continued work in basic physics and permits many options in several applied physics specialties. The program may be considered as additional education in areas beyond the bachelor's level, or as preparatory to doctoral studies in the applied physics fields of plasma physics, optical physics, solid-state physics, and applied mathematics. Specific course requirements for the master's degree are determined in consultation with the program adviser.

Ph.D. and Eng.Sc.D. Programs

After completing the M.S. program in applied physics, doctoral students specialize in one applied physics field. In addition to the 30-point program of study, graduate students must complete a written qualifying examination taken after two semesters of graduate study, complete an oral examination within one year of the written qualifying examination, and a thesis proposal examination taken within two years after the written qualifying examination. Ph.D. candidates must also submit an approved dissertation, and complete the university residence requirements.

A National Leader in Plasma Physics Graduate Training

One of the leading university centers for training in plasma physics, Columbia University's M.S. and Ph.D. programs build a foundation in the science and application of plasma physics. The plasma physics program features a specialty in the high-temperature plasma physics needed for controlled fusion energy.

In addition to a sound basic training in relevant areas of applied physics, students also develop expertise in experimental, theoretical, and computational plasma physics. This instruction provides the background needed to conduct research in Columbia University's Plasma Research Laboratory and in other national plasma research facilities.

Since its inception in 1960, Columbia's program has granted more than 110 doctoral degrees; many graduates play leading roles in all phases of plasma physics, including, in particular, the worldwide program to develop controlled fusion energy.

Solid-State and Optical Physics Graduate Programs

Columbia University's program in solid state physics spans a wide range of experimental and theoretical fields, including nanocrystals, electronic transport in molecular nanostructures, optical spectroscopy, fabrication of semiconductors, semiconductor superlattices, molecular electronics, surface and interface physics, solid state physics at high pressure, and defects.

In many of these endeavors the program maintains close ties with the Columbia Center for Integrated Science and Engineering, the Columbia NSF Center for Electronic Transport in Molecular Nanostructures (Nanocenter), and the Interdepartmental Committee on Materials Science and Engineering/Solid State Science and Engineering.

Columbia's program in optical physics emphasizes both theoretical and experimental studies of lasers and laser applications within applied physics and related disciplines. Areas of interest include laser spectroscopy, laser-assisted diagnostics and modifications in semiconductor processing, inelastic light scattering, and photonic devices. In several of these endeavors, the program maintains close ties with the Columbia Center for Integrated Science and Engineering.

New York City's Historic Columbia University

From its beginnings in 1754 in a schoolhouse in lower Manhattan, Columbia University has grown to encompass two principal campuses: the historic, neoclassical campus in the Morningside Heights neighborhood and the modern Medical Center further uptown, in Washington Heights.

Today, Columbia is one of the top academic and research institutions in the world, conducting ground-breaking research in medicine, science, the arts, and the humanities. It includes three undergraduate schools, thirteen graduate and professional schools, and a school of continuing education. Since 1901 when the first awards were given, 79 Columbia alumni have won a Nobel Prize during their illustrious careers, including President Barack Obama in 2009.

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Location & Contact

Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
Columbia University

116th Street and Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Dr. I. Noyan

Professor and Chair, Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

Phone: 212-854-8919

Montserrat Fernandez-Pinkley

Student Services Coordinator

Phone: 212-854-4457
Fax: 212-854-8257

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Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Materials Science And Engineering Doctor of Engineering Science (Eng Sc D)
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
    • Applied Physics Doctor of Engineering Science (Eng Sc D)
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
    • Applied Mathematics Doctor of Engineering Science (Eng Sc D)
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
    • Medical Physics Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 49
    • Doctoral Degrees 10
    • 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? Yes
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


29% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 439
    • Accepted 131
    • Acceptance Rate 29
    • Enrolled 59
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $85
    • Application Fee - International $85
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline December 15th December 15th Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline October 1st October 1st Yes
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test, GRE Subject Test (strongly recommended)
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, GRE Subject Test (applied physics)
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesGRE General Test
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, IELTS required

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 awardsDecember 15
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Research Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Health Care Benefits

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students156
    • Female Percentage25%
    • Male Percentage75%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students156
    • Part-time Percentage17%
    • Full-time Percentage83%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino5%
    • Black / African American0%
    • White / Caucasian51%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian29%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races2%
    • Unknown13%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty67
    • Full-time Percentage51%
    • Part-time Percentage49%
    • Female Percentage12%
    • Male Percentage88%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchPlasma physics and fusion energy; optical and laser physics; atmospheric, oceanic and earth physics; applied mathematics; solid state science and processing of materials, their properties, and their structure; medical physics
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported