Skip to main content

Applied Physics

Program Research Areas


Condensed Matter & Materials Physics

Interface science by its very nature brings together a diverse community with interests in device physics, catalysis, biomembranes, zoxide film growth, semiconductors, geochemistry, surface physics, corrosion, nanoscience, energy storage, and electrochemistry.

Learn More

Engineered Quantum Systems

The fields of applied quantum physics and engineered quantum systems inspires scientists in physics and electrical engineering worldwide. At Northwestern, it unites the interests of both experimental and theoretical research groups actively investigating applications of quantum physics for a broad array of tasks.

Learn More

Photonics & Optical Properties of Matter

Current research at Northwestern focuses on exploration of the optical properties of materials, imaging methods, dynamical studies of charge and chemistry, hybrid light-matter systems, nano-scale photonics, and functional quantum optical and opto-electronic devices.

Learn More

Soft-Matter & Biophysics

Soft condensed matter physics focuses on the study of both static and dynamic properties of matter and materials at energy scales where thermal fluctuation dominates. Systems of interest include liquids, colloids, polymers, foams, gels, granular materials, and glasses, as well as a variety of biological and complex materials.

Learn More

Program Highlights

Most recent AP graduates

About the Program

The Applied Physics Graduate Program is a hub for collaboration between 9 different departments. The program is designed to prepare graduates for professional careers in science and technology, either in academics or in industry and allow students to complete their PhD studies in five years.

For a quick overview, check out our slide presentation.

Request Program Information

Learn More


The Applied Physics program would be nothing without our incredible students, alumni, faculty and staff. Get to know some of these talented individuals below and hear about their experience with the Applied Physics program.

Learn More
Northwestern University campus view

How to Apply

The Program seeks students who are passionate about pursuing graduate level research in Applied Physics with a strong undergraduate background in Physics. Students typically begin research in latter part of the first year.  The deadline to apply is December 31, 2023 but applications submitted  by Dec. 15, 2023 will receive priority review.

Learn More

Affiliated Labs

Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne National Laboratory
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Credit Jacopo Werther/Wikipedia)
Los Alamos National Laboratory aerial shot
Los Alamos National Laboratory
National High Field Magnet Laboratory interior shot
National High Field Magnet Laboratory

Top Research Facilities

Many of the research programs in Applied Physics take advantage of opportunities for research at national facilities, particularly Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the National High Field Magnet Laboratory.

News and Events