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Indiana University Physics M.S. to Ph.D. Bridge Program

Program Director: Prof. Jon Urheim, 812-855-4178,
Program Assistant: Samantha Allen, 812-855-5928,

Indiana University Physics Department Bridge Team

First row: Samantha Allen (Project Assistant), Ph.D. student Fernanda Psihas, Professor Herb Fertig (Chair, Grad Curriculum Committee) Second row: Dr. Garfield Warren, Professor Rex Tayloe, Professor Steve Gottlieb, Professor Jon Urheim (Program Director) Not Pictured: Professor Mike Berger (Director Graduate Studies), Professor Lisa Kaufman, Professor Babak Seradjeh


The Indiana University Department of Physics is very excited to be one of the newly established American Physical Society's Bridge Programs.  We will provide an individualized program to enable each student to bridge the gap between undergraduate and graduate study.  This program will draw from our broad curriculum, featuring an especially wide array of laboratory-based courses, and will emphasize immersion in frontier research activities, in traditional fields of physics as well as interdisciplinary ones. We also pay close attention to mentoring, advising, and professional development.  Our department is interactive, friendly, and personal. We are eager to welcome strongly motivated students to our program and offer them the opportunity to earn a master's degree as they prepare for the Ph.D. We anticipate that in many cases Bridge Fellows will be able to transition seamlessly into our Ph.D. program.


Bridge Fellows will be carefully mentored from their arrival on campus. We will intensively assess each fellow's preparation to customize the selection of courses.  During the semester, students will continue to meet with their mentors both individually and as a group.  Advanced graduate students will have office space adjacent to our Bridge Fellows to provide additional support.


The Ph.D. degree is one based on research, and we encourage our Bridge Fellows to become involved in research as soon as they can.  We plan to match students with research advisors at the beginning of the first semester of the program. In most cases, we expect Bridge Fellows to take no more than three courses per semester, totaling 9 to 11 credit-hours.  This allows you to sign up for research credit-hours, which will count toward fulfillment of the research requirement for the M.S. degree.  Please explore the departmental web pages that describe our varied program which includes accelerator physics, astrophysics, biophysics, computational physics, condensed matter physics, elementary particle physics, gravitational physics, neutrino physics, nuclear physics, and quantum information.

Course Work

Each Bridge Fellow's courses will be selected based on prior preparation with the aim of completing the Ph.D. core curriculum within two years. We offer many elective courses at advanced undergraduate/beginning graduate levels, including laboratory-based courses: Modern Physics Lab (P301), Instrumentation Lab (P350), Electronics (P400/540), Optics (P460), Experiments in Modern Physics (P451/551), and Computing Applications in Physics (P410/609). These hands-on courses provide excellent preparation for Ph.D.-level research. The core graduate courses include classical mechanics (one semester), statistical mechanics (one semester), electromagnetism (two semesters), and quantum mechanics (two semesters).

Application Process

Applications to the IU Bridge Program are managed by the American Physical Society.

Students must:

  • Have a bachelor's degree in physics or a closely related discipline.
    • Degree must be complete by the time students enter the Bridge Program.
    • Degrees may include physics, applied physics, engineering physics, astrophysics, and other closely related disciplines.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Satisfy one or more of the following criteria in the current academic year:
    • Did not apply to a physics graduate program; or
    • Applied to one or more physics graduate programs, but were not accepted by any program
  • Be committed to improving diversity in physics

You may start your application here:

After the APS forwards applications to our Bridge Program, we will select and interview students.  We expect to complete offers of admission by mid-June.

Contact Information

Program Director: Prof. Jon Urheim, 812-855-4178
Program Assistant: Samantha Allen, 812-855-5928
Department Website

Graduate Life & Diversity

Indiana University has a strong commitment to diversity in graduate education.

The Graduate School website contains information about diversity, including
a list of useful resources that support our goal of achieving a diverse and inclusive student body.

The Graduate Mentoring Center provides a number of activites and services to support our graduate students.

The Graduate and Professional Student Organization also provides resources and information to  improve the quality of grad life at IU Bloomington and build a graduate student community.

You may find a brochure about the President's Diversity Initiative for Graduate Students here.