Graduate Studies - University of Denver, Department of Physics and Astronomy

We invite you to consider the University of Denver. Our small, dynamic department emphasizes hands-on academic preparation in close contact with the faculty. We provide attentive academic instruction and research mentoring up to the Ph.D. level. In the period 2011-2013, 50% of the PhD degrees were earned by female students which places us in third place nationally among all Physics and Astronomy programs.

DU is the oldest and largest private university in the Rocky Mountain region. Our quality academic program, excellent faculty and personal attention, as well as our location in one of the most beautiful and vibrant regions of the country, are some the reasons that students choose to study and live here.

Our department recently underwent a strong expansion with ten faculty members hired since 2006 in the areas of astrophysics, condensed matter, and biophysics. These hires are coupled with a large expansion across the campus in the sciences and engineering, including approximately 25 new faculty in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics division. Our research efforts are closely tied with those of other departments, and students readily conduct academic studies and research in collaboration with faculty across the DU campus. These collaborations are facilitated by two new interdisciplinary programs at DU, the Molecular Life Sciences and Biophysics (MLSB) program and the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).

Our research is often carried out using international research facilities, including the Hubble Space Telescope, Mauna Kea Observatories, European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) observatories, the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and the High Altitude Observatory, as well as synchrotron and neutron sources. Our faculty has close ties to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO.

Our main source of financial aid to graduate students is in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA). Stipends for 2018-19 are:
• Graduate Teaching Assistantships: $20,000 (nine months) plus up to 24 quarter hours of tuition waiver for the academic year. The teaching and grading commitment is about 20 hours per week.
• Graduate Research Assistantships: $20,000 to $24,000 plus up to 24 quarter hours of tuition waiver for 9 month appointments. Summer employment is also possible.
• Additional Fellowships: The department and the university also offer both merit and need-based fellowships.

If you have any questions about graduate study in our department, please see our website: (for more information see sections on Admissions and Financial Aid, Faculty, and Research) and feel free to get in touch with us via email at or by phone at (303) 871-2238.