Doing a PhD in Science or Engineering

Scientific research is at the heart of solutions to many of humankind’s problems, from sustainable energy to therapies and vaccines against pandemics.  We need a broad and diverse pool of creative and talented people such as yourself to choose scientific research and we encourage you to consider such a career.  The first step is a PhD.  A PhD teaches you independence of thinking and problem solving as well as broad (and also focused) technical skills that are useful in many careers beyond research.  It can also be a lot of fun and highly rewarding in its own right. Whether you want to be the next Einstein, an inspiring teacher, or have a rewarding career in industry, you should consider doing a PhD.

You should also know that the PhD is a higher degree that you can get paid to take!  If you are accepted into a STEM PhD program at Columbia (and most places) you can expect to have all tuition paid, but beyond that you will also receive a stipend and health insurance.

The first step is applying to the PhD program at Columbia.  Please explore the Graduate school of arts and sciences website for more information (https://gsas.columbia.edu/degree-programs/admissions).  The PhD programs are here.

If you are interested in research in the Billinge-group we accept candidates from the Applied Physics and Applied Math programs in Materials Science, Applied Physics – Solid State, Applied Mathematics as well as students from programs in Physics and Chemistry and other Engineering departments.  Most students come from APAM Materials and Applied Physics – Solid State.

A PhD in the Billinge Group

In the Billinge group we welcome applications from diverse backgrounds and seek to create a positive and supporting environment for everybody to succeed in their research and their career.

We usually have open research opportunities in the group for excellent and motivated graduate students.  If this fits your description and you think you may want to join us we would love to hear from you:

1) If you are a beginning Ph.D student at Columbia University in Materials Science, Applied Physics, Applied Mathematics or any department in SEAS,  then please contact Professor Billinge (sb2896@columbia.edu).

2) If you are a Ph.D student at Columbia University in the Physics or Chemistry Departments, or in some related discipline,  then please contact Professor Billinge (sb2896@columbia.edu).

3) If you would like to study for your Ph.D in the group but you are not already admitted into the PhD program at Columbia then you need to apply (see above for details).  The deadline for applications is usually around December, with admission decisions in April for a start in September.  There may be opportunities to get a head-start on research over the summer before you start. If you are interested, reach out to Prof. Billinge.

Start the process early if possible.  You will probably need a valid GRE score, and TOEFL if you are applying from a non-english-speaking country.