Applied Physics Degrees

What is Applied Physics?

Applied physics is the application of physics to solve scientific and engineering problems, and to develop new technologies to help people. It's often considered a bridge between physics and engineering, which focuses on implementing technologies and devices, while pure physics focuses on understanding nature.

Why Pursue an Applied Physics Degree?

Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is at the intersection of physics and engineering. Applied physicists discover new phenomena that become the foundation for quantum and photonic devices and novel materials. They also study the fundamentals of complex systems, including living organisms, which often involves the development of novel instruments. Applied physicists are problem solvers by nature. The problems they attack often require new science to be developed for their solution, which can lead to whole new research fields. Our PhDs therefore find employment both in academia and in non-profits and industry, including startups.

Applied Physics research at Harvard is facilitated by a number of world-class facilities and centers, including the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials; the Center for Nanoscale Systems, one of the world's most advanced research facilities housing a shared cleanroom, facilities for materials synthesis, and a microscopy suite; the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center; the Kavli Institute for Bionanoscience and Technology; the Quantitative Biology Initiative; the Center for Integrated Mesoscale Architectures for Sustainable Catalysis; and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering

Applied Physics Program



Area Chair for Applied Physics
Director of Graduate Studies (Spring 2023)
Director for Academic Operations
Administrative Coordinator for Academic Operations
Director of Faculty Support and Administration