Early Admission

The program for early admission of University of Rochester students into the PhD program is part of the Department's DOEd—GAANN (Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need) effort to increase the number of domestic PhD students (including resident aliens) in the fields of physics and astronomy.

The program is also open to non-US residents, who can qualify, instead, through Marshak Fellowships and regular teaching and research assistantships in the department. Early admission students are also eligible for UR fellowships such as Sproull, Provost, and University Fellowships.


Students who wish to be considered for early admission to the graduate program should submit their application in early spring of their junior year, preferably by February 1. The GRE score requirement is waived for early admission applications.

Program Overview

The program recommends the following:

  • Research Experience for Undergraduate position in the summer between the junior and senior years.
  • teaching-internship position in the senior year.*
  • Specially selected graduate courses senior year to satisfy course-credit requirements for both the BS and PhD.
  • Upon entering graduate school, students in the program will be awarded a GAANN/DOEd fellowship.
  • During the third and fourth years of graduate school, students in this program will receive a supplemental Early Admission Fellowship of $3,000/year.
  • Students in the program can start their PhD research as research assistants in the first year of graduate school, while completing their graduate courses and any additional teaching requirements. It is expected that students in this program will pass their preliminary exam and receive an MA degree after one year of graduate study.

*This may or may not satisfy the department's and New York State's requirement of teaching experience for the PhD degree. Teaching requirements will be confirmed upon an offer of admission.

Advantages of the Early Admissions Program 

  • Early completion of all graduate course requirements.
  • Early start on research for the PhD.
  • Ability to complete, and publish on, research initiated in undergraduate years.
  • Early completion of PhD degree.
  • Financial benefit of a GAANN/DOEd fellowship, and supplemental fellowship for Early Admissions.


See the undergraduate coordinator.