How to Apply

Application Deadline: December 31

The Applied Physics Graduate Program application deadline for the Ph.D. program is December 31st at 11:59p.m. Eastern Time. Applicants can begin applying as early as September 1st. You should begin as early as possible. Late applications will not be accepted. Students applying for admission to our Ph.D. program are asked to submit the following:

1. A completed application form

Apply online at Rice University's online graduate application at

2. Application fee

The application fee is $85.00. The fee can be paid by credit card only. The application can be processed only when the application fee has been received.  Applicants with financial needs may be eligible for fee waivers; please see the list below.


University-paid application fee waivers include, but are not limited to:

  • AGEP (Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate)
  • Fulbrighters
  • Goldwater Scholars and Honorable Mentions
  • Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium Participants
  • IRT (Institute for Recruitment of Teachers)
  • McNair Scholar Program
  • Mellon Mays Fellows
  • Nankai University Hundred Young Teachers Program
  • National GEM Consortium
  • Project 1000
  • Summer Institute for Literary and Cultural Studies

3. Unofficial transcript

Transcripts of grades from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended.

For reviewing purposes, electronic copies of transcripts from each college or university you have attended can be uploaded through the online application system to meet the application requirements. If you are offered admission to Rice, official copies of the transcripts will be required and can either be sent directly to the Applied Physics Graduate Program from the institution or sealed by the institution in a signed envelope.


Rice University requires all applicants to provide GRE (Graduate Record Examination) General Test scores. The GRE Physics subject test is not required to apply; however, please include your score in your application if you have taken it.  The scores must not be more than five years old, and an official copy must be sent to Rice University directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Personal copies are not acceptable. 

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of any student whose native language is not English. Your score must not be more than two years old and an official copy must be sent to the Graduate School directly from ETS. Students must score at least 90 on the iBT (internet-based) TOEFL, at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL, at least 250 on the computer-based TOEFL, or at least 620 on the new ITP Plus Exam. For students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum score is 7.

 The TOEFL and the IELTS may be waived for an international student who received a degree from a university in which English is the official language of communication. It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit proof for this waiver.

The Institution code for the GRE is 6609, and the Department code is 5101 for Applied Physics (Interdisciplinary Studies).

The Institution code for the TOEFL is 6609, and the Department code is 60 for Applied Physics (Other Physical Sciences).

As long as you have the correct institution code of 6609, your official scores will be received electronically from ETS.  Paper copies of the scores are not required. NOTE: you cannot search by code, only by Department title.

5. Letters of recommendation

Four letters of recommendation are requested and the online reference forms are required. These letters should normally be written by faculty who are familiar with your work and can address your potential for success in graduate school.  

We request applicants to submit four (4) letters if possible.  We begin evaluation of the full application once three letters have been received.  However, we cannot move forward on the application review with less than three letters.  All letters of recommendation are due by January 6.

Submit all inquiries & application materials to:

Rice University
Applied Physics Graduate Program, MS-100
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892

Courier deliveries should be sent to:
Rice University
Applied Physics Graduate Program-MS 100
301 Space Science
6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005

Phone: 713-348-3566
NOTE: Voicemail and emails will receive responses within 2 business days.

Print out the Application Checklist

Note: MS Degree: Although students are not normally admitted to study for an MS, this degree is sometimes awarded to students who do not complete the PhD program.