Graduate students are advised by their faculty mentors. Students should individually consult with faculty academic advisors on a regular basis—not just to pre-register—but also to communicate regularly about progress toward the degree and one’s professional development. Students are free to change advisors at any time prior to preparation for comprehensive examinations, especially as students begin to work with individual faculty in Physics and Astronomy.

For general questions about graduate studies, students may contact the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Physics and Astronomy:

Vincent Rodgers

Vincent G. J. Rodgers, Ph.D.
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Director of Graduate Studies / Professor
513 Van Allen Hall (VAN)

Graduate Student Advisory Committee

The GSAC serves as a liaison and advocacy group between the Physics and Astronomy Graduate Students, the faculty, and the department administration. The committee is selected by the Director of Graduate Studies and has class representation from first, second and upper level graduate students. The duties of GSAC are:

  • provide input to the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee, The Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Coordinator. Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC) advises on issues relevant to curriculum, departmental policies and campus opportunities;
  • serve as a conduit to all graduate students in sharing official departmental information and policy changes; and
  • support the peer-to-peer mentoring program, GradMAP, by assisting in selecting mentors and reporting to the DGS.

Submit a Confidential Comment to the GSAC

The current Graduate Student Advisory Committee members are:

Graduate Student Handbook

  • Orientation
    • General information for physics and astronomy students
    • New graduate student checklist
    • Physics and Astronomy Who Does What
    • Organizational Chart
    • Physics and Astronomy Faculty list
    • What if... emergencies, trouble calls and equipment malfunctions
    • University of Iowa Who does what
  • Academics
    • Degree requirements
    • Worksheets
    • Expectation for enrollment as full-time student
    • Progress to the degree
    • Comprehensive exam guidelines
    • Progress toward a degree after the comprehensive exam
    • Review of requirements for the PhD degree
  • Research Orientation
    • Research groups
  • Teaching Resources
    • Graduate Assistantships (RA/TA) orientation and overview
    • Sample syllabi
    • Performance evaluation
    • Assisting students with disabilities
    • CLAS classroom procedures
    • TA certification for students whose first language is not English
  • Departmental Facilities
    • InfoHawk
    • Physics & Astronomy Service Centers
  • Financial Support
    • Graduate Assistantships: RAs and TAs
    • Travel funds for graduate students
    • Hallway (emergency) loans
    • Awards and scholarships - departmental
    • Awards and scholarships - university
    • Awards and scholarships - NSF, DOE and NASA