Program in Physics College of Sciences University of Massachusetts Lowell

Program in Physics College of Sciences University of Massachusetts Lowell

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


Merging Science with Technology

Leading edge research lies at heart of graduate programs in physics. At UMass Lowell, the Department of Physics and Applied Physics, with around $9 million annually in funded research, was recently ranked by the National Science Foundation in the top 50 nationwide in R&D expenditures. The department has 24 full-time faculty, and close to 100 graduate students and 100 undergraduate majors in the Department. The reasonably small faculty size coupled to the high commitment to research, both in fundamental and applied arena, allows quality interactions and mentoring of graduate students. Departmental faculty are world leaders in their disciplines, and new hires are adding new directions to existing research strengths. Specific areas of research expertise are described below.

Graduate Program

At UMass Lowell, the M.S. degree is offered in (a) physics (b) radiological sciences and protection (health physics), and (c) medical physics. Course requirements for the M.S. programs consist of a total of around 30 credits, including work on a thesis or project. The M.S. may serve as a basis for further study toward a Ph.D. degree. A Professional Science Master's option is offered in the radiological science and protection degree program. The Ph.D. program is offered in (a) physics, (b) radiological sciences, and (c) medical physics. The Ph.D. program requires 60 credits beyond the bachelor's degree, including dissertation research. A prior master's degree is not required to be admitted into the Ph.D. program. Admission to the graduate programs require the equivalent of 4 years of undergraduate coursework.The general GRE is required for all M.S. and Ph.D. applicants. The subject GRE in Physics is required for Ph.D. applicants in Physics.

More information is available at Information on graduate schools applications and admissions are available at

Financial Aid

Essentially ALL Ph.D. candidates receive full financial support throughout their graduate career, starting with a departmental Teaching Assistantship and moving to Research Assistantships with an individual or a team of researchers. Both TA and RA appointments include full waiver of tuition and fees. M.S. students are not eligible for TA/RA appointments. TA's and RA's must be full-time students carrying at least 9 credit hours per semester.

For 2014-15, the average academic year (9-month) TA stipend was $15,680. TA duties require 18 hours per week during the academic year in teaching introductory physics labs, grading and assisting faculty in large enrollment courses or in upper division labs. RA duties involve working in the departmental research labs funded through external grants and contracts. The stipends are comparable to the teaching assistantship stipends. For advanced PhD candidates, the academic year RA stipend (9 months) is $17,000. Additional 3-month summer stipends at the academic year rates are available for almost all TA's and RA's through external research grants..

Other financial aid for grading and tutoring may be available at an hourly rate. These are not accompanied by a waiver of tuition and fees and is available to M.S. students as well.

Research Centers and Programs

The astronomy and astrophysics group develops instruments used on suborbital sounding rockets to study the structure of galaxies and interstellar media, investigates atmospheres and environments of planets and exoplanets, studies neutron stars and black holes in X-ray binaries, pulsars, and carries out research in multi-wavelength astronomy and time-domain astrophysics.

The Center for Advanced Materials is involved in the design, synthesis, characterization, and processing of materials for application in new technologies. Research topics include nonlinear optics, dielectric behavior of materials, polymeric and biomolecular systems, nanoscale materials, and novel polymeric materials

The Photonics Center forms a core of design and fabrication facilities to support innovative semiconductor-based photonic and electronic device technologies, for defense, medical, and commercial applications. Equipment includes molecular beam epitaxy machines and concomitant lithography and epilayer characterization facilities.

The Submillimeter-Wave Technology Laboratory employs a large team to build and maintain high-performance solid-state and laser-based measurement systems to generate terahertz frequency radiation, resulting in the development of a wide range of materials characterization techniques and high-resolution imaging systems for industry, defense, and medical applications.

The Radiation Laboratory with a 1-MW research reactor, an intense Co-60 gamma source, and 5.5-MV Van de Graaff accelerator, is a unique interdisciplinary facility for nuclear science and technology research. Fundamental nuclear structure and astrophysics research is are carried out at national labs. In-house research includes advanced detector development for nuclear science,and applications.

The Multiscale Electromagnetics Group is involved in computational and theoretical photonics and plasmonics in composites, metamaterials, and multi-scale systems.

The Advanced Biophotonics Laboratory provides fundamental expertise on the structural and functional characterization of pathology for exploratory efforts in medical and bioengineering applications. Integrating multiple optical imaging and spectroscopic approaches.

The Laboratory for Nano-science and Laser Applications uses intense femtosecond lasers to study light-matter interactions in material structures and chemical reactions at the molecular level. The laser technology is also used to facilitate the manufacture of micro- and nanostructure materials.

Space physics research projects include the study and modeling of solar winds, magnetospheres, plasmaspheres, ionospheres, radiation belts and antenna radiation theory and experiment.

The Medical Physics program is CAMPEP accredited. The Health Physics program is ABET accredited and has a separate Professional Science Master's program. Research efforts include aerosol transport, dosimetry, medical imaging, diagnostics and therapeutics with nanoparticles, and research on radiation mitigating drugs.


Graduates from the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Physics and Applied Physics at UMass Lowell have obtained leading positions in academia, government research laboratories, major medical facilities, and industry. They have obtained postdoctoral, research scientist or faculty appointments at major research universities such as Princeton, Yale, Chicago, Duke, and UC Santa Barbara, national laboratories such as Los Alamos and Pacific Northwest, research positions at companies such as Raytheon and Schlumberger, and positions at top medical institutions such as Massachusetts General Hospital and Mayo Clinic.

Location & Contact

Program in Physics

College of Sciences
University of Massachusetts Lowell

1 University Avenue
Lowell, MA 01854
United States

Dr. Gus Couchell

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Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Physics Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • 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? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $20
    • Application Fee - International $35
    • Electronic applications accepted? Not Reported
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline April 1st Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline October 1st Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test, 3 letters of reference
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, transcripts, 3 letters of reference
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsApril 1
    • Types of financial support availableCareer or Field-Related Internships, Federal Work-Study, Financial Support for Part-time Students, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans, Traineeships