Applied Physics

A competitive program that offers students a generous stipend, the Applied Physics graduate program is managed jointly by the Natural Sciences and the Engineering divisions at Rice. It is overseen by a committee composed of members from among the departments of Bioengineering, Chemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Nanoengineering, Physics and Astronomy, and Statistics.

The program is closely allied with the Smalley-Curl Institute (SCI), internationally known as a center for molecular physics and has world-class research programs in atomic, molecular and optical physics; studies of clusters; the physics and chemistry of surfaces; and laser development and applications. Students and faculty benefit from Rice's world-class research facilities and opportunities for collaboration on campus and throughout Houston.

For further information, prospective students may visit the Smalley-Curl Institute website. Download the graduate study brochure and the graduate program handbook. Students are also encouraged to visit both the School of Engineering and School of Natural Sciences.

Degrees Offered:


Each student's curriculum, research, and thesis topics receive individual consideration by the Applied Physics Curriculum and Admissions Committee and must be approved. Most APP students defend for a Master's degree and continue on to become candidates for the Ph.D.

Areas of Research

  • Nanoscale research
  • Growth of collaborative interactions among research groups and open new areas of discovery 

Applied Physics Contact Information

Professor Naomi Halas, SCI Director, Interim Chair
Phone: 713-348-3566