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What will I learn?

After completing the M.S. program in applied physics, doctoral students specialize in one applied physics field. Some specializations have specific course requirements for the doctorate; elective courses are determined in consultation with the program adviser. Successful completion of an approved 30-point program of study is required in addition to successful completion of a written qualifying examination taken after two semesters of graduate study. Completing Applied Physics Laboratory APPH E4018 in the first year of graduate study is required. Oral examinations, taken within one year after the written qualifying examination, and a thesis proposal examination, taken within two years after the written qualifying examination, are required of all doctoral candidates.

Degree Requirements for Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Physics: Plasma Physics

  • Complete requirements for the M.S. with a 3.0 Minimum GPA
  • (unless a Master’s Degree from another institution has already been earned, in which case students receive 30 points and 2 Residence Units of advanced standing)
  • Complete requirements for the Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) Degree:
  • Written Qualifying Examination
  • Courses suggested for preparation at the level of the general and plasma physics parts of the written qualifying examination are listed in the qualifying examination memorandum.
  • 30 points of courses and/or research (beyond M.S.) taken for a letter grade with minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Can be fulfilled with core and related courses of specialization not used for the MS degree as well as research points, but no more than 15 points of research can be applied to this 30 point requirement.
  • 6 Residence Units
  • One per semester not including summer, takes 3 years without M.S. or 2 years with M.S.
  • Oral Exam (usually Spring of 2nd year)
  • Thesis proposal (usually Spring of 3rd year)
  • Ethics requirements
  • Online ethics course during Fall of 1st, year, attend departmental ethics seminar during Spring of 1st and 2nd years
  • Master of Philosophy Degree awarded
  • Complete Dissertation
  • Successful Defense

Which department am I in?

The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

Study options

Full Time (60 points of credit beyond the bachelor’s degree)

Tuition fees
USD $2,104 per credit hour
Start date

Expected September 2022


Columbia University

116th Street, 2960 Broadway,

New York,

10027, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Other English Language Requirements:  The minimum TOEFL score expected is 600 (written) or 250 (computer version).

For international students

Applicant must have bachelor's degree received from an institution of acceptable standing. Ordinarily, the applicant will have majored in the field in which graduate study is intended, but in certain programs preparation in a related field of engineering or science is acceptable. The applicant will be admitted only if the undergraduate record shows promise of productive and effective graduate work.

English Language Requirement

Applicant must have TOEFL score, IELTS score and Pearson Test of English (PTE).

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


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