MSU's Nuclear Physics Graduate Program is ranked #1 in the U.S


Michigan State University's nuclear physics graduate program maintained its No. 1 ranking, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking for best graduate schools.

Bolstering MSU’s reputation in the field is FRIB, a new scientific user facility for nuclear science, under construction now on campus. Nuclear physics students have access to world-class facilities on campus at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) and FRIB, and students have opportunities to pursue interdisciplinary work.

"The continuing leadership of the MSU nuclear physics program is driven by a combination of the excellence of the faculty, staff and students of NSCL and FRIB and strong support from the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science," 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."

There are many unique opportunities available to nuclear physics graduate students at MSU:

  • NSCL, the premier rare-isotope accelerator facility in the United States., is also a premier training ground for graduate students through its graduate program. By working with some of the world’s top faculty and staff in experimental and theoretical nuclear physics and astrophysics, as well as in accelerator physics and engineering, graduate students at NSCL are prepared for outstanding careers in research, education and industry.
  • The Accelerator Science and Engineering (AS&E) Traineeship program at MSU leverages unique campus-based equipment, systems, and experts at FRIB and NSCL, extensive AS&E faculty and research support in the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy and the College of Engineering, and resources at U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories. A component of the program is the MSU Cryogenic Initiative, a collaboration between FRIB and the MSU College of Engineering, which addresses a nationwide need to educate and train the next generation of cryogenic system innovators.
  • The FRIB Theory Alliance (FRIB-TA) is a coalition of scientists from universities and national laboratories who seek to foster advancements in theory related to diverse areas of FRIB science; optimize the coupling between theory and experiment; and stimulate the field by creating permanent theory positions across the country, attracting young talent through the national FRIB Theory Fellow Program, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations, and shepherding international initiatives.
  • The Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics - Center for the Evolution of the Elements (JINA-CEE) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Physics Frontiers Center that links rare isotope science with the physics of stable isotopes, the physics of stars and stellar explosions, and modern multi-messenger astronomy that includes ground and space-based observatories, neutrino observatories, and gravitational wave detectors. The network brings together nuclear experimentalists, nuclear theorists, astronomers, theoretical astrophysicists, and computational physicists from 26 institutions in eight countries.

Ten Michigan State University graduate programs are positioned in the nation's top 10, with five in the No. 1 position, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 rankings. For more information about MSU’s rankings, read the article on the MSU Today website.