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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Regarding Your Graduate Studies

top ⇑Tuition and Fees

Q: What is the application fee?

A: There is currently no application fee.

Q: What is the tuition for physics graduate students?

A: Every student on a TA, RA, or fellowship receives a full waiver of the Tulane tuition (currently $44,950 per year). The student is responsible for paying student fees (currently about $990 per semester) and a portion of their health insurance (about $627 per year, the School of Science and Engineering subsidizes the remainder of the health insurance premium).


top ⇑Application and Acceptance

Q: Do you accept students who want to obtain a Ph.D. or a Master's degree?

A: We normally only accept graduate students who intend to pursue the Ph.D. degree.

Q: How can I get more information about the application process?

A: Applications can be filled out online with the Graduate Admissions Information Request Form.

Q: Do you accept foreign students? Do you accept students from China and India?

A: We accept students from many foreign countries, including China and India.

Q: Are the GRE and TOEFL exams required?

A: The GRE general exam is required for all applicants. The GRE Physics subject exam is strongly recommended, but not required. The TOEFL exam is required for all applicants who are non-native English speakers.

Q: What are the minimum GRE/TOEFL scores for admission to your program? What are the average scores for accepted students?

A: We have no minimum or average scores. The test scores are used, along with other indicators such as GPA and recommendation letters, to make relative comparisons of applicants. We look for a complete picture in the application to find the students who we think will fit in best in our department. Test scores are just one part of that picture.

Q: How do I apply for a teaching assistantship (TA), research assistantship (RA), or fellowship?

A: Every applicant is automatically considered for a TA or fellowship. Most admitted students are offered either a TA or a fellowship. Continuing students are eligible for an RA after completion of required coursework and passing the preliminary exam.

Q: How many students apply to the physics graduate program at Tulane each year, and how many are accepted?

A: We usually receive 50–60 qualified applications. Approximately one-third are accepted.

Q: If I send you my resume, can you comment on my qualifications and chance of admission, or give me some advice?

A: Our staff is not able to provide individual advice or review your qualifications, other than through the admissions process. We encourage you to submit an application, and assure you that every application will receive full consideration in due time.


top ⇑General Questions

Q: How many students enroll as physics graduate students at Tulane each year?

A: It varies from year to year. The average enrollment of new students is about 5 per year.

Q: I don't have a lot of money. Can I send photocopies of my exam scores instead of ordering them from ETS?

A: We strongly encourage you to send official scores from ETS. If you send photocopies, we will use them to make an initial screening of applications, but we require official scores before we can make a full offer of admission.

Q: Does Tulane University offer health insurance for graduate students?

A: All graduate students are required to carry health insurance, either through the Tulane plan or privately. The current cost of the Tulane plan is $1647 per year, of which Tulane pays $650 and the student pays $997.

Q: I am interested in a particular field of research. Can I pursue that field in the physics department at Tulane?

A: Please see the Research section of our website for a description of the research groups in our department. Each student must join one of these groups in order to pursue a Ph.D. in physics at Tulane. If your area of interest is not represented you should consider applying to a different university. If you do see a research area at Tulane that interests you, you are welcome to contact the professor in charge to discuss research possibilities in that group.

Graduate students in the department receive financial assistance through teaching assistantships, research assistantships, tuition scholarships, University loans and Louisiana Board of Regents Fellowships.

Research assistantships are provided by a student's faculty research advisor, and are available at their discretion. Stipend amounts and durations are decided by the advisor, although they normally carry a tuition waver associated with them.

Teaching assistantships for 2013-2014 carry a stipend of $19,220 for approx. nine months, plus a waiver of the Graduate School tuition and health insurance supplement. They normally require about six hours of teaching in undergraduate laboratory classes per week plus grading of laboratory reports. The total time required usually does not exceed 15-16 hours/week, so that teaching assistants are able to carry a full load of graduate work.

A small number of summer teaching assistantships are normally available, and are usually reserved for students with special circumstances.

School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764 sse@tulane.edu