Notice to International Applicants Only
**This information DOES NOT APPLY to domestic applicants.
This notice is for student applicants inquiring about graduate studies and financial support in the Department of Physics who have a bachelor's degree from a school outside the United States or Canada.
Graduate work here is for the Ph.D. degree, Master of Science degree, or Master of Arts degree. The Ph.D. and M.S. are research degrees where the M.A. is an academic degree. Students applying for the Ph.D. degree must have the potential for original research rather than showing evidence of faithful scholarship only.
An application fee is required by the Graduate School and, therefore, cannot be waived by the Department of Physics. All applicants who have not paid the application fee are considered to have incomplete files. Only completed files will be considered for admission.
It is essential to distinguish between admission and appointment to a position involving financial aid. An application for admission will be judged on academic qualifications. However, the Graduate School will not admit a student without assurance of financial resources adequate to maintain the student here.
There are two types of appointments available to international applicants: research assistantships and teaching assistantships. A research assistantship is offered by the individual professor with whom the work is to be performed, and all arrangements are made with that professor. The customary initial appointment for a graduate student is the teaching assistantship, which involves instruction in our University classes. We can offer a teaching assistantship only if we have assurance that the applicant's English is good enough to pass the University's SPEAK exam and that the applicant can adapt quickly to the mode and level of teaching required.
For those whose native language is not English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) scores are required. Our Department has a minimum TOEFL score requirement of 580 (paper-based), 237 (computer-based), or 92 (internet-based). However, international students who are admitted with teaching appointments typically have scores higher than the minimum. If an International Student is offered financial aid in the form of a teaching assistantship, that student will be required to pass a SPEAK test once he/she arrives on campus. If the student does not pass this test, the financial aid will be withdrawn.