APS Bridge Program

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Graduate Student Blog

Program Contacts

Lance Cooper
Associate Head for Graduate Programs
(217) 333-2589

Wendy Wimmer
Graduate Office Administrative Aide
(217) 333-3645

The Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers Ph.D. students a vibrant intellectual environment involving fundamental and interdisciplinary coursework, diverse research opportunities, and active service and outreach efforts. Ph.D. students can choose from a variety of excellent research opportunities in Astrophysics/Cosmology, Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, Biological Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, High Energy Physics, Quantum Information, Nuclear Physics, and Physics Education Research.

Our department's PhD program features flexible curriculum requirements that can accommodate a variety of academic backgrounds, including bridging of students with undergraduate coursework to bolster academic preparation when needed. A three-pronged mentoring approach in our program affiliates students with an academic advisor, a graduate peer mentor, and a faculty research mentor to help students transition smoothly into the department. Students are exposed to research opportunities during their first semester of study as part of a required course in which faculty describe their research programs and opportunities. Academic and research progress of Ph.D. students is monitored regularly by the graduate director and PhD thesis committees.

All students admitted to the Illinois Physics PhD program are supported financially either by teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. Our department also features an active social environment among the Ph.D. students, with a variety of academic, service-oriented, and socially motivated graduate student groups that play an essential role in maintaining a healthy climate for our diverse population of graduate students. Among the special programs offered to Illinois Physics PhD students are a graduate travel award program, a Physics Careers Seminar series, and professional development opportunities to improve scientific communication, fellowship application, and proposal writing skills.