Physics Graduate Studies
The physics option offers a program leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. This program prepares students for careers in scientific research or research combined with teaching, and so its most important part is independent research. Courses are offered that give a broad treatment of both fundamental physics and specialized physics research topics. These are intended both to help a beginning graduate student prepare for research and to broaden an advanced student's knowledge of physics. Caltech research opportunities include elementary particle physics, nuclear physics, cosmic-ray, gamma-ray, and X-ray astronomy, submillimeter astronomy, condensed-matter physics, atomic/molecular/ optical physics, quantum information, applied physics, gravitational physics, cosmology, astrophysics, mathematical physics, biophysics, and theoretical physics. A Master of Science degree may be awarded upon completion of a program of courses. Students are not normally admitted to work toward the M.S. in physics unless they are also working toward a Ph.D.