Frequently Asked Questions - University of Houston
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I apply?

Please follow the instructions in this website either for domestic applicants or for international applicants.

2. What do I need to submit in order to apply to the Physics Graduate Program?

a. CollegeNET Online Application
b. GRE exam scores (all applicants).
c. TOEFL scores (international students only).
d. 3 letters of recommendation using this form.
e. $80 application fee (international students only).
f.  Official sealed transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

3. What is the Physics Department address that I should send my unofficial GRE scores (for initial processing), TOEFL scores, $75.00 application fee (international applicants only), official sealed transcripts, and letters of recommendation to?

Materials should be submitted online. Official transcripts should be sent to:

Regular Mail Address
University of Houston
Graduate Admissions
P.O. Box 3947
Houston, Texas 77253-3947

Express Mail Address
University of Houston
Graduate Admissions
4302 University Dr, Rm 102
Houston, Texas 77204-2012

4. What is the deadline for application?

The admissions committee meets regularly beginning in late January and makes admission offers on a rolling basis until all openings for new students are filled. Only complete application files are considered. The earlier we receive your application, the sooner we can evaluate your application and offer admission and assistantships. In order to guarantee consideration please apply by January 15. However late applications are accepted and offers are sometimes made as late as May.

5. How many students are admitted each year into the Graduate Program in the Department of Physics?

We typically accept 20-25 new graduate students and grant 15-20 teaching assistantships per year. Again, please apply early to guarantee consideration.

6. What criteria are used to admit students?

The Graduate Committee looks at a student’s grades, recommendation letters, and GRE and TOEFL scores, as well as the student’s personal statement.

7. What about choosing a research advisor?

If you are admitted, you will need to pass the six core courses in the first year. Students typically identify their research advisors after the first year. They have until the end of the second year (beginning of May) to find a research advisor.

8. What does the SPEAK test have to do with my financial support?

The department provides financial support, generally as a Teaching Assistant, to graduate students admitted to our program with an Instructional Assistantship. The amount of support will always be sufficient to qualify you for the student F1 visa.  Once admitted in the graduate program, typically international students will first need to take the SPEAK Test at the testing center at the University of Houston before the semester begins. The student must obtain a score of at least 50 to be allowed to teach at University of Houston.  However, a lower score will not take away their stipend, but these students will be assigned other duties, and encouraged to improve their language skills and take the test again. Students need to successfully pass the SPEAK test in the first year in order to continue to be a Teaching Assistant.  

9. What is the University of Houston – Main Campus’ code from the Education Test System (ETS):

This code regarding ETS is 6870.

10. Are applications to the doctoral program accepted for Spring semester?

It depends.  However, we rarely grant fellowships regarding the Spring admission.

11. Who should I contact if I have more questions regarding my application?

You can contact our academic coordinator through email ( or phone (713.743.3523).