Physics Doctor of Philosophy

About us

We have designed the graduate program in physics to give you a solid background in the fundamentals, an understanding of the major fields of current research, and an opportunity for in-depth investigations. Working with your faculty advisor, you can tailor your program to meet your own needs and interests, taking into account your particular goals and undergraduate preparation.

In the PhD program, you will devote most of your first year and some of your second year to course work. These courses are designed to strengthen and extend your knowledge of the theoretical foundations of physics and to introduce you to areas of current interest in the field. During the summer following your first year, you will be encouraged to join one of the ongoing research programs in the department. From your third year on, you will concentrate on carrying out your PhD thesis research with your faculty research advisor. Work culminates in your PhD thesis defense by about the fifth or sixth year.

The Department of Physics at the Ohio State University is one of the university's largest and most diverse departments. As a department in the division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences in the College of the Arts and Sciences, the Department of Physics occupies the recently built Physics Research Building as well as instructional and advising space in Smith Laboratory, the former home of the department.


Our faculty, postdocs, research scientists and students conduct world-class research in the following

  • Astrophysics
  • Atomic, Molecular & Optical Experiment and Theory
  • Biophysics
  • Condensed Matter Experiment and Theory
  • High Energy Experiment and Theory
  • Nuclear Experiment and Theory
  • Physics Education
  • Quantum Information

Research Centers and Groups

World Class Faculty

Our faculty members are fellows of elite organizations and winners of prestigious awards both at the university level and at the national and international level. Click here for a complete list of awards.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

International graduates of this major are approved by the Department of Homeland Security for three (3) years of work permission in the United States after graduation. Visit the Office of International Affairs website for more information.