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Undergraduate Physics Scholarships & Support

Departmental Scholarships

The physics department has a limited number of scholarships for outstanding undergraduate candidates who commit to major in physics. Incoming freshmen are eligible to apply.

Complete the application form using a Google Form OR complete the downloadable form and return to
The physics scholarship application deadline is March 31.

What Other Aid is Available?
  • Pell Grants: For 2016-2017, the maximum award was $5,815/year.
  • HOPE Scholarships: Up to $1,750/semester for freshmen and sophomores; up to $2,250/semester for juniors and seniors.
  • UT’s Volunteer Scholarships (based on ACT/SAT Scores): $3,000 to $8,000/year for in-state students; $10,000 to $18,000/year for out-of-state students
  • Tennessee Pledge Scholarships (need-based): a direct-cost award for four years that helps cover tuition, fees, room and board.
  • UT Promise Scholarships (for graduates of Tennessee Promise high schools): help for tuition and fees.
  • Provost Scholarship: for National Merit finalists and National Achievement finalists; $2,000/year.
  • UT Competitive Scholarships (e.g., Chancellor’s Scholars, Manning Scholars, etc.): Varying amounts; many at $5,000 to $7,000 per year.
  • Carl Cowan Scholarship: The Carl Cowan Scholarship Fund was made possible through initial donations and contributions from individuals and businesses after black students and faculty members in the early 1970’s sought to identify additional funding sources for black students.
  • American Physical Society: list of APS scholarships as well as links to other resources and databases.
  • American Institute of Physics (Diversity): awards, fellowships, scholarships and other funding sources available for under-represented minorities in physics.
What are the University's Deadlines?
  • November 1: For priority admission and competitive scholarships
  • December 1: For Tennessee Pledge/UT Promise scholarships
  • December 15: For regular admission and institutional (Volunteer) scholarships

More information is available from UT's Office of Financial Aid

Summer Research Fellowships

The physics department offers financial support for students in the form of fellowships and part-time employment. The Science Alliance Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship program is designed to give outstanding undergraduate students the opportunity to gain experience in physics research. Students learn research procedures and techniques while exchanging ideas and experiences with other program participants, graduate students, and physics faculty. Each research fellow spends 10 weeks working on a full-time research project supervised by a physics faculty member. Dr. Marianne Breinig ( is the contact person for the program. Details of the program are online.

Departmental Employment

Undergraduate physics majors have the opportunity to earn extra money and professional experience by working for the physics department. Responsibilities range from helping with the setup of physics labs to assisting office staff.


Each spring, the department awards distinctive honors to deserving undergraduates: the Outstanding First Year Physics Student, the Douglas V. Roseberry Distinguished Upper Class Major Award, the James W. McConnell Awards, and the Robert Talley Awards for Outstanding Undergraduate Research and Outstanding Undergraduate Leadership. The faculty selects the winners based on student dedication to scholarship, leadership, and excellence.

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