Interested in graduate studies in plasma physics at Caltech?

Answers to FAQ

1. You can make your Caltech Graduate Application online. For a print version mailed to you,  and for other application related information see the Caltech Graduate Office.

2. If you are definitely committed to plasma physics: specify Applied Physics as 1st choice Option (Department), plasma as Area of Interest,  and include a brief discussion on your plasma interests in the Statement of Purpose on the application form.

3. If you are interested in plasma physics, but not definitely committed to this research area:  the Caltech Applied Physics Option does not require students to be definitely committed to a specific research area for admission. Most, but not all,  admitted students wait until the end of their first academic year to decide on which research group to join. Until that time, first year students are encouraged to learn about the many  research areas available and then make a decision.  If you are undecided at this time on a specific research area, but have several in mind, list the areas that interest you in the Statement of Purpose and give a brief explanation for the basis of  your various  interests. 

4. Prerequisites for graduate study in plasma physics: Electricity and Magnetism, Mechanics, Mathematical Physics, Quantum Mechanics

5. Graduate admission is decided on a competitive basis.

6. Admitted students are normally offered complete financial support consisting of  tuition and stipend (in the form of Scholarship, Research Assistantship, or Teaching Assistantship).

7. Note to US Students: Caltech is a participating university for the  US Department of Energy Fusion Sciences Fellowship which is available on a competitive basis to prospective graduate students interested in plasma science and fusion energy.

8. If you have additional questions, please contact Prof. Paul Bellan (

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