MSU's nuclear physics graduate program retains No. 1 national ranking in latest report

  • Mar 15, 2017
  • Award, Students, Research, astrophysics
  • Faculty & Staff, Research, Students, Physics & Astronomy

image of outer space

MSU physics and astronomy graduate students have access to world-class facilities, such as FRIB, that are beginning to provide the detailed nuclear physics information needed to understand our origins.

Michigan State University’s nuclear physics graduate program, housed in College of Natural Science’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, is among seven MSU graduate programs that rank No. 1 nationally in the latest U.S. News & World Report ratings.

The nuclear physics graduate program wrested the top spot from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010, and continues to set the national standard. Further bolstering MSU’s reputation in the field, the university is building the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), a new national-user facility for nuclear science funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), MSU and the state of Michigan.

“The continuing leadership of the MSU nuclear physics program is driven by a combination of the excellence of the faculty, staff and students of FRIB, strong support from NSF and DOE, and the support and vision of the MSU administration,” said Phil Duxbury, Department of Physics and Astronomy chair. “The future looks very bright with growing expertise in fundamental nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics and accelerator physics, and with new collaborations in other areas of science and technology at MSU and across the nation.”

MSU physics and astronomy graduate students have access to world-class facilities including:  FRIB, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and several other particle physics projects, the 4.1-m SOAR telescope in Cerro Pachón, Chile, the Keck Nanofabrication facility, and the Blue Waters supercomputer.  In addition, there are many opportunities for interdisciplinary work:  MSU is the lead institution of the NSF Frontier Center’s JINA (Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics) and has recently established a new department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering.

The other six MSU graduate programs receiving No. 1 rankings are African history, elementary education, industrial and organizational psychology, rehabilitation counseling, secondary education, and supply chain/logistics.

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