The application deadline for students wishing to matriculate in September is the preceding December 15. All applications must be submitted online through the Graduate Admissions portal.

A complete application will include:

  • Statement of purpose. We look for a thoughtful, well-written statement that shows the ability to overcome challenges, dedication to attain chosen goals, a capacity for creativity, an understanding of physics and/or astronomy, and any other indication of potential for research.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Recommendation letters should help us evaluate your capacity for research, the most important criterion for admission.
  • Transcripts of all previous work. Transcripts submitted with the application may be unofficial transcripts. Successful applicants who accept the offer of admission must supply an official transcript before they can begin the PhD program at JHU. In the case of students in the final year of their bachelors program, the official transcript must show completion of all coursework required for the degree.
  • TOEFL or IELTS for international students. A reproduction is acceptable. Johns Hopkins prefers a minimum score of 600 (paper-based) or 250 (computer-based) or 100 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • $75 non-refundable application fee. The application fee may be waived.

Note: submission of General GRE and Physics GRE scores is optional.

Other useful information

  • The University maintains an interactive JHU PhD program statistics explorer.  To find our program, first select “School of Arts & Sciences — Natural Sciences” under the “Choose Division” drop-down menu, and then choose “Physics and Astronomy” under the “Choose Program” drop-down menu.
  • As part of the program of study, all graduate students are appointed as teaching or research assistants, positions which provide tuition, living stipend, and benefits (health coverage, etc).
  • Applicants are admitted only as full-time candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). There is no separate Masters Degree program and no provision for part-time students. However, a Masters degree is awarded as a stage of the PhD program.
  • Applicants from HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions are encouraged to consider JHU’s Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative. Applications must be submitted by Dec. 1 to be considered.
  • Offers of admission are made by early February with a decision deadline of April 15.
  • Students who are accepted to PhD programs at JHU can apply to receive a $1500 need-based grant to offset the costs of relocating to JHU.

Policy for transfer applications for PhD students

Most PhD students coming into the JHU P&A graduate program follow the application process described above. However, in exceptional cases when the student is collaborating with a JHU P&A faculty member and their proposed or ongoing thesis work will take place with the JHU P&A faculty on the JHU campus, the department will consider a transfer application.

  1. Only students in good standing in another PhD program will be considered for a transfer.
  2. Only students with a long-standing (>=1 year) collaborative relationship with a full-time JHU P&A tenure-track or research-track faculty member will be considered for a transfer.
  3. The transfer application must include clearly stated academic and / or research reasons for the transfer request and why a visiting student status is insufficient.
  4. The transfer application must include the student’s CV, statement of research plans at JHU and what stage of the JHU program the student would like to transfer into (see this page), statement about previous research, undergraduate and graduate transcripts, application for waivers of any core graduate courses in the PhD program (including syllabi of the courses already taken that may qualify for the waiver), a recommendation letter from the prospective JHU advisor, and two additional recommendation letters.
  5. Transfer applications will be reviewed by the graduate program committee and by the admissions committee. Additional materials (such as standardized test scores from previous graduate applications) may be requested. Any requirements in 1-4 will be waived only in exceptional circumstances.
  6. The committee will not consider transfer for students within a year of graduation due to the Johns Hopkins University residency requirements.

Transfer applicants should expect the process to be rigorous, and they will be expected to satisfy the
standards of both the admissions committee and the graduate program committee. If the transfer is recommended by both committees, the application is forwarded to the Department Chair for final approval.

Transfer applicants can apply at any time during the year by email directly to the academic programs coordinator Ms. Kelley Key ([email protected] ) and arrange for the letters of recommendation to be sent directly to her as well. No materials (other than the recommendation letters) will be accepted from anybody other than the student applicant. Enrollment in the beginning of the fall, spring or summer terms is possible. Decisions can usually be made within 4-6 weeks after all the materials have been received, but additional time will be required for registration and visa.

All other students must apply through the standard application process.

Apply Now

Additional information

For additional information, please contact our Academic Program Administrator Kelley Key:
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 410-516-7344
Fax: 410-516-7239