Physics PhD Program

NYU Shanghai, in partnership with the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science and the NYU Department of Physics, invites applications from exceptional students for PhD study and research in Physics.
Participating students are enrolled in the NYU GSAS Physics PhD program, complete their coursework at the NYU Department of Physics in New York, and then transition to full-time residence at NYU Shanghai where they undertake their doctoral research under the supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty.

Highlights of the Program

  • NYU degree upon graduation
  • Graduate coursework at the NYU Department of Physics in New York
  • Research opportunities with and close mentorship by NYU Shanghai faculty
  • Access to the vast intellectual resources of NYU GSAS and NYU Department of Physics
  • Cutting-edge research environment at NYU Shanghai, including the Institute of Physics, activities such as a regular program of seminars and visiting academics, a thriving community of PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and research associates, and links with other universities within and outside China
  • Financial aid through the NYU Shanghai Doctoral Fellowship, including tuition, fees, and an annual stipend equal to stipends received by all NYU Physics PhD students
  • Additional benefits exclusive to the NYU Shanghai program, including international health insurance, housing assistance in New York, and travel funds

Supervising Faculty

  • Tim Brynes

    Tim Byrnes

    Quantum Information Technologies, Experimental Atom Chip BECs, Quantitative Biology, Relativistic Quantum Information, Fundamental Cold Atom Physics

  • Hanghui-chen

    Hanghui Chen

    First-Principles Modelling of Complex Oxides and Oxide Heterostructures

  • pilkyung-moon

    Pilkyung Moon

    Condensed Matter Theory, Electronic Properties of Atomically Thin Films, Semiconductor Nanostructures, Quantum Hall Effect

  • zhang jun

    Jun Zhang

    Fluid Dynamics, Biomechanics and Biophysics, Self-Organizing Phenomena at Microscopic and Macroscopic Scales

Recent Publications by NYU Shanghai Faculty

  • "Gate tunable optical absorption and band structure of twisted bilayer graphene", K. Yu, N. V. Luan, T. Kim, J. Jeon, J. Kim, P. Moon*, Y. H. Lee*, E. J. Choi*, Phys. Rev. B (Rapid Communications) 99, 241405(R) (2019). (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.99.241405)
  • Generalized Grover's algorithm for multiple phase inversion states, Tim Byrnes, Gary Forster, Louis Tessler, Physical Review Letters 120, 060501 (2018)
  • “Dirac Electrons in a Dodecagonal Graphene Quasicrystal”, S. J. Ahn*, P. Moon*, T.-H. Kim,* H.-W. Kim, H.-C. Shin, E. H. Kim, H. W. Cha, S.-J. Kahng, P. Kim, M. Koshino, Y.-W. Son, C.-W. Yang, J. R. Ahn, Science 361, 782 (2018). (doi: 10.1126/science.aar8412) (* These authors contributed equally to this work.)
  • E. Aulestia, Y. Cheung, Y-W. Fang, J. He, K. Yamaura, K. Lai, S. Goh and H. Chen, "Pressure-induced enhancedment of non-polar to polar transition temperature in metallic LiOsO3", Appl. Phys. Lett. 113, 012902 (2018)
  • “Band Structure Engineering of 2D Materials using Patterned Dielectric Superlattices”, C. Forsythe, X. Zhou, T. Taniguchi, K. Watanabe, A. Pasupathy, P. Moon, M. Koshino, P. Kim, C. R. Dean, Nat. Nanotechnol. 13, 566 (2018). (doi: 10.1038/s41565-018-0138-7).
  • Remote quantum clock synchronization without synchronized clocks, Ebubechukwu O. Ilo-Okeke, Louis Tessler, Jonathan P. Dowling and Tim Byrnes, Nature Partner Journal Quantum Information 4, 40 (2018)
  • H. Chen and A. Millis, "Charge transfer driven emergent phenomena in oxide heterostructures" (invited review), Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 29, 243001 (2017)
  • Zhang J. "Footprints of a flapping wing," Journal of Fluid Mechanics 818, 1-4 (2017)
  • X. Chen, X. Zhang, M Koten, H. Chen, Z. Xiao, L. Zhang, J. Shield, P. Dowben, X. Hong, "Interfacial Charge Engineering in Ferroelectric-Controlled Mott transistors", Adv. Mater. 29, 1701385 (2017)
  • Distribution of Quantum Coherence in Multipartite Systems, Chandrashekar Radhakrishnan, Manikandan Parthasarathy, Segar Jambulingam, Tim Byrnes, Physical Review Letters 116, 150504 (2016)
  • Ristroph L, Liao J, and Zhang J. "Lateral Line Layout Correlates with the Differential Hydrodynamic Pressure on Swimming Fish," Phys. Rev. Lett.114, 018102 (2015)
  • Incommensurate double-walled carbon nanotubes as one-dimensional moiré crystals, Mikito Koshino,* Pilkyung Moon,* Young-Woo Son,* Physical Review B 91, 035405 (2015)
  • A. S. Disa, D. P. Kumah, A. Malashevich, H. Chen, D. A. Arena, E. D. Specht, S. Ismail-Beigi, F. J. Walker and C. H. Ahn, “Inter-elemental orbital tuning in oxides”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 026801 (2015)

Selected Faculty Features

"HED: Research Discovers New Physical Properties in a Magnetic Oxide Monolayer" (Hanghui Chen)

"Fluid Dynamics Helps Researchers Uncover the Mysteries of Shooting Stars" (Jun Zhang)

"A New Way to Achieve the Entanglement between Two Bose-Einstein Condensates" (Tim Byrnes)

"NYU Shanghai Professor and Colleagues Create a New Type of Quasicrystal" (Pilkyung Moon)

"A Glimpse into a 'Two-Faced' Material" (Hanghui Chen)

"Professor Jun Zhang Elected APS Fellow, Cited for 'His Elegant and Artful Experiments" (Jun Zhang)

"Distinguished Young Scholar" (Tim Byrnes)


Structure of Program

Participating students complete the PhD degree requirements set by the NYU Department of Physics and in accordance with the academic policies of NYU GSAS. Each student develops an individualized course and research plan in consultation with the Director of Graduate Study at the NYU Department of Physics and the student’s NYU Shanghai faculty advisor. Most students will complete their PhD in 4-5 years. A typical sequence follows:

Summer 1
in Shanghai


Begin program with funded research rotation, up to 3 months preceding first Fall semester, to familiarize with NYU Shanghai and faculty as well as lay a foundation for future doctoral study.

Year 1
(Fall and Spring)
in New York


Complete PhD coursework at Department of Physics alongside other NYU PhD students.

Summer 2
in Shanghai


Return to Shanghai for second funded research rotation to solidify relationships with NYU Shanghai faculty and make further progress in research.

Year 2 and Onward
in Shanghai


Under supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty advisor, pursue dissertation research and continue coursework. Depending on each student’s individualized course of study, return visits to New York may also occur. Complete all required examinations and progress evaluations, both oral and written, leading up to submission and defense of doctoral thesis.

To learn more about the NYU Physics PhD program degree requirements, please visit this page.


Current Students

Name Research Areas
Marek Narozniak Quantum Information Theory, Quantum Algorithms
Matthew Prest Quantum Information Technologies, Quantum Error-Correction, Relativistic Quantum Information, Superconductivity
Hanzhou Tan Condensed Matter Physics, Low-dimensional Systems
Jinjie Zhang Condensed Matter Theory, Complex Systems, Categorical Quantum Mechanics

Application Process and Dates

Applications are to be submitted through the NYU GSAS Application portal, within which students should select the Physics PhD as their program of interest, and then indicate their preference for NYU Shanghai by marking the appropriate checkbox when prompted. Applicants will be evaluated by a joint admissions committee of New York and Shanghai faculty. Application requirements are set by the NYU Department of Physics and are the same as those for all NYU PhD applicants, no matter their campus preference; however, candidates are recommended to elaborate in their application and personal statements about their specific interests in the NYU Shanghai program and faculty.

The NYU GSAS Application portal is now open for Fall 2021 admission, and the deadline is December 18, 2020. Applications are only accepted for Fall admission.


Contact Us

Interested students are welcome to contact Vivien Du, program coordinator of the NYU Shanghai Physics PhD, via email at with any inquiries or to request more information.