Every year, the Boston College Department of Physics welcomes approximately ten new students into its graduate program. They pursue Ph.D. and Masters degrees in various theoretical and experimental research programs including:
BC graduates have gone on to successful careers in a broad range of fields. Our graduates include faculty at R1 research institutions, senior scientists in industry and national labs, and founders of technology start-ups. Please find a partial list of our recent alumni.
The unique environment of the BC Physics department is focused on a highly collaborative approach, with students forming a vital part of the community. While working with BC physics faculty, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities both on campus and worldwide. Moreover, students often work in integrated science teams with faculty from Chemistry, Biology, Neuroscience, or neighboring institutions.
All students in good standing are fully supported financially, with opportunities to start research as early as the summer preceding their first year. Students in good standing receive full financial support in the form of teaching assistantships and research assistantships, health insurance as well as tuition remission, which covers the full cost of tuition
By the Numbers
Fellows of the American Physical Society
New faculty hires since 2015
Average size of graduate courses
Ph.D. candidates supported in research
Graduate Alumni Spotlight
Dr. Nakib H. Protik
Dr. Nakib H. Protik was a graduate student in BC Physics from 2014-2019. For his doctoral research work, carried out under the supervision of Prof. David Broido, he studied the effects of impurity scattering on heat transport and developed a computational method for calculating the self-consistent coupled transport of charge and heat in materials. Since obtaining his PhD, he has held postdoctoral research positions at Harvard University, USA and ICN2, Spain. He is currently an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Institute of Physics and IRIS Adlershof of Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.
Dr. Sergio Gaudio
Dr. Sergio Gaudio studied in the BC physics department from 2001-2006. During his PhD, Dr. Gaudio worked alongside Prof. Kevin Bedell to understand the thermodynamics of ultracold atomic gases through Fermi liquid theory. After graduation, Dr. Gaudio continued his research in superfluids at Università ‘‘La Sapienza’’ in Rome, Italy, before venturing into medical physics at UCLA. Since 2016, Dr. Gaudio has been working as part of the LIGO collaboration. With colleagues in the group of Michele Zanolin at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Dr. Gaudio models detectable signals from gravitational waves emitted by supernovae processes. In 2017, the founders of the LIGO collaboration were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the landmark discovery gravitational waves. As a popular science communicator in Italy, Dr. Gaudio has received the Excellence in Research award from the Premio Spartenze Foundation and the Gonfalon award from his hometown, Palmi.
Dr. Lucas Lindsay
Dr. Lucas Lindsay was a graduate student in the BC physics department from 2004-2010. Under the guidance of Prof. David Broido, Dr. Lindsay developed theory and first-principles calculations to describe the lattice thermal conductivities of carbon nanotubes and graphene. After graduation, Dr. Lindsay taught physics for two years at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. Afterwards, he started a fellowship at the US Naval Research Laboratory, where in collaboration with Prof. Broido and Dr. Thomas Reinecke, he made the first prediction of ultra-high thermal conductivity in boron arsenide, which has since been experimentally confirmed. Since 2014, Dr. Lindsay has been a scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he continues to predict and optimize materials for thermal management on some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. In 2019, Dr. Lindsay was awarded a Department of Energy Early Career Award.
Dr. Yuan-Ming Lu
Dr. Yuan-Ming Lu was a graduate student in the BC physics department from 2007-2011. During that time, he performed theoretical research on topological phases of matter under the supervision of Prof. Ziqiang Wang and in close collaboration with Prof. Ying Ran. After obtaining his PhD in 2011, he became a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley. He joined the faculty of The Ohio State University in 2014, where he is now an associate professor. Prof. Lu has made seminal contributions to the study of topological phases and strongly correlated systems and is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2017.
At the completion of graduate studies, the student should have developed the following:
- comprehensive knowledge of the basic fields of physics
- detailed knowledge of specific field(s) of physics
- ability to do research in a specific area of physics
- ability to communicate effectively about research and general topics in physics
- ability to teach and to explain concepts in physics to students and to others
- readiness to enter a career in physics research, teaching or related professions
The department will assess our students learning outcomes, and modify the program as appropriate, on a yearly basis in order to help students better achieve these goals.