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The Graduate Center - The Life of the Mind in the Heart of the City

A graduate school of arts and sciences, the Graduate Center (GC) is the principal doctorate-granting institution of the City University of New York, offering more than 30 doctoral degrees. In addition to rigorous academic training in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences in a PhD-focused, scholarly environment, the Graduate Center fosters globally significant research across the faculty and in a wide variety of centers and institutes. It is an inclusive community of 7,000 students, scholars, and researchers, drawing upon the widest possible range of experience of race and ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, age, physical ability, and socioeconomic status. Extensive library resources are found at the GC and at each senior college campus throughout New York City.

Program of Study

The Ph.D. program consists of a full curriculum of graduate coursework, with a rigorous foundation in the fundamentals of modern physics and a broad selection of specialty electives. However, research is the focus of the program, and during the first year of coursework students will interact with multiple research groups. This experience provides the insight needed to select your dissertation topic and advisor as students enter the intensive research phase of Ph.D. studies in years two through five. (

Faculty and Research Experiences

New York City is one of the world's most energetic centers of frontline physics research. The Graduate Center ( at the City University of New York (CUNY), located in the heart of midtown Manhattan, is a central part of this active community, represented by faculty from various colleges across the University. As a doctoral student in the Ph.D. Program in Physics, students will begin their scientific career in this inspiring environment. 

The Ph.D. Program in Physics is designed to prepare students for a career working at the forefront of experimental, theoretical, and computational research in physics. At the same time, in the world's increasingly interdisciplinary world, many fields look to physicists for their quantitative expertise and creative problem solving skills. The program provides broad interdisciplinary course and research opportunities that will help to prepare students for diverse career options in the life sciences, information technology, media and policy, and even finance and business. 

With over 100 research-active faculty working in almost all fields of physics, the school is one of the largest physics graduate programs in the United States. The CUNY Ph.D. Program comprises eight member colleges, which boast several renowned theoretical research departments and world-class experimental facilities. The faculty are also well funded, with CUNY physics departments drawing over $12 million in grants in 2016. The multi-billion dollar Advanced Science Research Center (, part of the CUNY Graduate Center, houses the most advance experimental and fabrication research facilities in the Northeast. 

In addition to the extensive resources within CUNY, the Graduate Center has close associations with Brookhaven National Laboratory, the American Museum of Natural History, Centers for Computational Astrophysics and Computational Quantum Physics at the Flatiron Institute, several New York area medical research centers, and other major New York universities.

Admission Requirements

Applications are completed online through the Apply Yourself portal where applicants will be required to upload all required documentation. The admission deadline is January 1 for attendance starting the following fall semester.

Required Documentation

Transcripts, GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative, Writing), Letters of recommendation from two or three professors, Scores on English proficiency exams (required of foreign applicants)

Financial Support

Acceptance into the Ph.D. Program in Physics comes with 5 years of support, regardless of citizenship, on a CUNY Science Scholarship--including a competitive financial aid package of $30,000, full tuition waiver, affordable individual and family health-care insurance, and family leave benefits.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 8
Doctoral Degrees 13

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? No
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Thesis Required


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline January 10th Not reported No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Doctoral Degree Exam GRE General Test

Tuition & Fees

Calculator icon

Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards April 15
Types of financial support available Institutionally-sponsored Loans

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 2.88%
Black or African American 1.92%
White or Caucasian 32%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 8.65%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 0%
Unknown 6.73%


Male (78%)
Female (21%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 120
Part-time - 0
Male (106)
Female (14)


Focus of faculty research: Condensed-matter; particle, nuclear, and high energy physics; astrophysics and cosmology; biophysics and neuroscience; materials science; photonics and nanotechnology; quantum information and quantum optics; computational and statistical physics
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY  10016-4039
United States
Contact Igor Kuskovsky
Executive Officer
Phone: 212-817-8651
Fax: 212-817-1531

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The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Update my info
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