U.S. Particle Accelerator School
U.S. Particle Accelerator School
Education in Beam Physics and Accelerator Technology

Educational Opportunities

University Graduate Programs

University of California, Berkeley:
The Nuclear Engineering Department offers a graduate course in Accelerators and Ion Sources, and both the Nuclear Engineering and Physics departments offer undergraduate and graduate courses in Plasma Physics.  Students have rich opportunities for practical experience with accelerators on many facilities, including the High Flux Neutron Generator (HFNG) in the NE Department, and the 88" Cyclotron, Advanced Light Source (ALS) and the BELLA Laser Acceleration facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab adjacent to campus. Students also have opportunities to intern with the Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division (ATAP) at LBNL. The Berkeley campus is also just an hour's drive away from SLAC National Accelerator Lab and Lawrence Livermore National Lab, where many of our students receive theoretical and hands-on training with accelerators.

The Department of Physics has a plasma and nonlinear dynamics group with research topics covering advanced accelerator concepts, nonlinear dynamics, intense charged particle beams, nonneutral plasma physics and laser-plasma interactions.  Students have opportunities to conduct research with the ALPHA collaboration at CERN, where antimatter traps are used to synthesize and probe the fundamental physics of antihydrogen, and to participate in research on laser-plasma interactions, ultra-fast processes in materials, and high-energy density physics with scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and SLAC National Laboratory.

University of California, Los Angeles:
The Department of Physics at UCLA does research into beam physics and accelerator technologies through the Particle Beam Physics Lab.

University of Chicago:
The Department of Physics at the University of Chicago does research in many areas including Beam Physics.

Colorado State University:
Students may study
- Charged Particle Beam and Laser Beam Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Beam Dynamics, Controls, RF Devices, Lasers, Optical Materials and Computing to name a few areas of interest),
- High-Energy Physics in the Department of Physics
- Radiation and Health Physics in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences
There are also remote learning possibilities through CSU Online.

Cornell University:
Students who wish to undertake graduate study in Accelerator Physics may pursue a Ph.D. through Cornell's Department of Physics.

Cornell University operates the particle accelerators CESR and CBETA, respectively a 800m long storage ring and the first 4-turn SRF Energy Recovery Linac (ERL). Both offer ample opportunity of meaningful PhD research. Cornell also heads the Center of Bright Beams, an NSF Science and Technology Center, which pursues basic research in bright-beam creation, SRF acceleration, bright-beam transport, supporting PhD students as well. Furthermore, Stony Brook University and Cornell, in collaboration with several national labs, have started the DOE-funded Courant Traineeship in Accelerator Physics and Engineering that brings together interested students from different institutions. Doctoral students can be enrolled at Cornell, but they can also come from other universities and are invited to carry-out their thesis research at Cornell University. Cornell students do research under the supervision of an accelerator faculty member, working on a topic of interest to that faculty member. Students from other universities are supervised by their Thesis advisor, who collaborates with a Cornell faculty member as local co-supervisor. Prior to starting research at Cornell, you are expected to take prerequisite courses at your home institution and attend the USPAS. This approach provides the opportunity to be supervised by faculty and to interact extensively with the accelerator or device targeted by your research in a way that is rarely available elsewhere. Send letters of interest to lepp-search@cornell.edu

Florida Atlantic University:
The experimental portion of the Graduate Program in Physics at Florida Atlantic University concentrates on condensed matter physics and spectroscopy.

Illinois Institute of Technology:
The Center for Synchrotron Radiation Research and Instrumentation (CSSRI) at the Illinois Institute of Technology coordinates and facilitates activities among the CATs affiliated with IIT, and any other scientists at the University with an interest in synchrotron radiation research. Graduate programs in Physics and Molecular Biophysics as well as other science and engineering disciplines use synchrotron radiation as a research tool. The Center for Accelerator and Particle Physics at the Illinois Institute of Technology is committed to progress in Elementary Particle Physics and Beam Physics in Chicago and northern Illinois.

Indiana University:
The Department of Physics at Indiana University/Bloomington offers a professional Master's Degree in Accelerator Physics and Technology in partnership with the USPAS. Detailed information can be found on the USPAS website.

University of Maryland at College Park:
The Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP) is home to the University of Maryland Electron Ring (UMER) which is actively involved in training graduate students for careers in Accelerator Science and Engineering.  UMER is a dedicated small-scale facility for beam physics research and student training. Research topics include experimental beam physics, nonlinear optics, the physics of rings and beam space-charge, computational modeling, and diagnostics. UMD Radiation Facilities also trains AS&E graduate students within IREAP and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering on topics including cyclotrons, cathodes, pulsed power, normal and superconducting RF, and radiological sciences.  Facilities include a 250 kW training reactor, two high-power electron linacs, and a cyclotron. 

Michigan State University:
Michigan State University (MSU) is home to prominent accelerator facilities supporting nuclear physics at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL). MSU supports a number of graduate-level education programs in Accelerator Science and Engineering at the Department of Physics and Astronomy (including the VUBeam online degree program), the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Mechanical Engineering (including the MSU Cryogenic Initiative for workforce training in the operation of large cryogenic plants for accelerator facilities), and the Department of Computational Mathematics Science and Engineering (CMSE). Prospective students should apply to departments linked with their interests and can be supported under a variety of programs including a DOE-sponsored traineeship, the Accelerator Science and Engineering Traineeship (ASET), which supports students with US citizenship or permanent resident status to study at MSU with augmented research traineeships in US national laboratories. Topics at MSU include: superconducting RF technology and RF engineering, ion source development, beam dynamics and optics, computer modeling and advanced computations, cryogenic systems, beam diagnostics and instrumentation, as accelerator controls and optimization.

Northern Illinois University:
The Department of Physics offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with specialties in Accelerator and Beam Physics. The program has close ties to the major accelerator research facilities at nearby Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). Faculty members, as associates of the Northern Illinois Center for Accelerator and Detector Development (NICADD), collaborate with these two national laboratories and with colleagues around the world in high-priority accelerator projects and accelerator-driven experiments in a variety of disciplines.

Old Dominion University:
The Old Dominion University Center for Accelerator Science (CAS) in the Physics Department aims to meet the nation's need for scientists and engineers who will advance the next generation of accelerators and light-sources - tools that enable an ever-widening range of basic and applied research, numerous medical applications, as well as industrial and Homeland Security functions. The ODU CAS was created as a joint initiative with the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab). The majority of the ODU students in Accelerator Science conduct their research in collaboration with JLab scientists and perform their experimental work using the unique experimental facilities at JLab.

Stanford University:
Applied Physics, Physics and Electrical Engineering departments at Stanford University, in conjunction with SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, carry out research in many areas of accelerator physics including synchrotron radiation, free-electron lasers, advanced acceleration methods, ultrafast electron diffraction and microscope.

Stony Brook University:
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University offers research in many areas including Accelerator and Beam Physics. Other Stony Brook University departments are participating in Accelerator Science through the Center for Accelerator Science and Education (CASE). The CASE is a joint venture of Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). A lot of CASE's research is conducted at BNL's accelerator facilities: RHIC, ATF and NSLS II.

In collaboration with Cornell University and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, CASE established the Ernest Courant Traineeship in Accelerator Science & Engineering which is funded by the Department of Energy's Office of High Energy Physics. This MS and PhD program will provide for in-depth studies of the following topics: (a) Physics of large accelerators and systems engineering; (b) Superconducting radiofrequency accelerator physics and engineering; (c) Radiofrequency power system engineering, and (d) Cryogenic systems engineering (especially liquid helium systems). Students in the traineeship program who complete the necessary courses will be issued a certificate in Accelerator Science and Engineering with specialization in one of the four areas listed above.

University of New Mexico:
Students may study Charged Particle Beam Physics and Engineering, and Laser Beam Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Beam Dynamics, Controls, Lasers, Microwaves, Pulsed Power, High Power RF Devices, Diagnostics, to name a few areas of interest).

The New Mexico Center for Particle Physics together with the Nuclear Physics, Astrophysics, Particle Physics and Cosmology/Inflation groups bring a diverse yet synergistic research focus to the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville:
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a doctoral Program in Accelerator Physics. The department has close ties with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and graduate students in the accelerator program perform research at ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source accelerator (https://neutrons.ornl.gov/sns). Research projects are focused on solving the most critical challenges for high intensity, high power accelerators. For more information please contact the UT Accelerator Physics staff (http://www.phys.utk.edu/research/graduate.html).