Doctoral Degree

Physics (Ph.D.)

Basic Degree Information/Description

The Ph.D. in Physics program offers students the opportunity to pursue research in a variety of basic physics fields such as condensed matter physics; chemical physics; biophysics; biophotonics; non-ionizing radiation physics; scanning tunneling, small angle X-ray and neutron scattering microscopy; theoretical particle physics; cosmology; mathematical, computational physics; semiconductor nanostructures; experimental laser spectroscopy; laser-tissue interactions; plasma physics; radiative transfer. If students choose to work with the core scientists from the Southwest Research Institute Space Science and Engineering Division, opportunities are available in the fields of space weather; ionosphere-thermosphere-mesospheric physics; plasmaspheric physics; magnetospheric physics; heliospheric physics, cometary physics; space physics instrumentation, and computational space physics.

Why pursue a Ph.D. in Physics at UTSA?

  • Cutting-edge areas of research, quality of research and productivity.
  • Fifth largest graduate Physics program in Texas (according to the statistics of the American Institute of Physics) with over 65 PhD students currently in the program. 
  • One of the fastest growing programs in the State. 
  • 88% of our graduates found employment immediately.
  • Student/Faculty ratio < 2.5. 
  • Nominated for the STAR awards of the THECB.
  • Joint program with the Space Science Division of the Southwest Research Institute.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Admission requirements and pre-requisites: Bachelor of Arts or Sciences, preferably in Physics, with a minimum of a 3.0 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate or graduate coursework.  

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all institutions attended. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.

Graduate Studies Application: Yes

Department Application: No

Test Scores: General GRE Required. The Physics GRE is not required but is strongly recommended. 

Resume: Yes

Letters of Recommendation: A minimum of two letters of recommendation from person familiar with the applicant's undergraduate (and graduate, where applicable) scholastic record

Statement of Purpose: Yes

Minimum TOEFL Score (for International Applicants): 550 paper/79 internet

Minimum IELTS Score (for International Applicants): 6.5

Additional Requirements: International students and those with international degrees may be required to submit additional documents per our admissions policies and procedures. The Graduate School reserves the right to request any additional documents needed to fairly and consistently evaluate applicant credentials.

Full-Time or Part-Time Attendance Requirement: Full-Time or Part-Time


Application Deadline Dates

Contact Information

Graduate Advisor of Record: Lorenzo Brancaleon, Ph.D.
Email Address:
Telephone: (210) 458-5694

Degree Website:

Degree Catalog Link:

Career Options Available for a Physics Graduate

  • Academic research or research in industry including sectors such as hi-tech, semiconductor, biotech, pharma, advanced nanomaterials, lasers.
  • Our Graduates are currently working in academia (Faculty or Postdoctoral fellows), National Laboratories and NASA (postdoctoral fellows), private research institutions (research scientists) and industry. 
  • This article provides information on salary approximations and employment statistics for those with a graduate degree in Physics.

Course Scheduling and Offerings

  • This program is housed at UTSA’s Main campus.
  • Courses are offered at various times of the day generally scheduled later in the afternoon.

Research taking place in the Physics Program

  • Cutting edge research in: nanoparticles, advanced thin film technology, biophotonics, protein structure, integrated experimental/computational approach to molecular biophysics, advanced materials (e.g., photonics crystals), research in terahertz application, computational condensed matter, space physics and space instrumentation.
  • Additional faculty with novel research lines will join the program next fall.