What will I learn?

Learning Goals that students in this program are expected to meet include:

Conduct original research. Our graduate students will conduct high-quality, original research in a specific field of physics/astronomy. This includes developing the ability to understand scholarly literature, to articulate research objectives, and to interpret research results appropriately.

Attain knowledge of physics/astronomy. Our graduate students will obtain a sound foundation in advanced physics/astronomy and in the advanced experimental, observational, and computational techniques required for their research. They will also obtain a broad understanding of other fields of physics/astronomy beyond their research specialty.

Develop professionalism. Our graduate students will conduct scholarship and teaching, in teams or independently, in ways that consistently demonstrate ethical practice and integrity. They will develop proficiency in written and verbal communication of complex scientific topics at the level required for presenting results in refereed journals and at scientific conferences.

Which department am I in?

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (5 years)

Tuition fees
US$29,124.00 per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

7 January 2022

Start date

22 August 2022


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

202 Catt Hall,

2224 Osborn Dr,



50011, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Academic Performance: Applicants should have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) comparable to at least a "B+" average or 3.30 out of a possible 4.00, and rank in the top quartile (25 percent) of their graduating class. Strong performance in relevant science, computer and math courses is especially valued. A four-year university degree (the equivalent of a bachelor's degree) is required. Successful applicants typically have an undergraduate degree in molecular biology, computer science, mathematics, statistics, physics or a closely related discipline. Strong computational, mathematical or statistical training is desirable. However, all exceptionally well-qualified applicants who present strong evidence of research potential will be considered for admission.

For international students

Iowa State requires a bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally-accredited college or university prior to beginning graduate studies.

International degrees must be comparable to a US bachelor’s degree or higher from a college or university regionally accredited/recognized by the Ministry of Education in that country.

A minimum cumulative grade point average equivalent to at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (B grade) is required for admission.

The minimum scores accepted by the Graduate College are:

Internet Based TOEFL (iBT): 79
TOEFL Paper (PBT): 550
IELTS: 6.5
Pearson Test of English (PTE): 53
Duo Lingo English Test: 105

Application Deadlines: January 7 for fall admission

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About Iowa State University

There are eight distinct colleges with more than 300 programs, where passionate faculty are challenging some of the world’s most pressing issues.

  • Scholarships available for freshmen and transfer students
  • Eight colleges offering over 300 programs
  • Based in Ames, at the heart of Iowa
  • Stunning campus with plenty of student-run activities