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

Program Information:
USPAS Session in Hampton, Virginia
January 22 - February 2, 2024

Classes, dinners and the Study Room will all be held at the Hampton Roads Convention Center (1610 Coliseum Drive, Hampton Virginia 23666) which is a few steps away from where sleeping rooms and breakfasts will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Hampton Roads Hotel (1700 Coliseum Drive, Hampton Virginia 23666). Students in the "Microwave Measurements and Beam Instrumentation at Jefferson Lab" class will be taken by bus to the nearby Jefferson Lab each day.

Classes ending on Friday January 26 or Friday February 2 will finish at 12:00 (noon). When booking return air tickets students should allow time for their class to end at noon plus transportation time to the airport before selecting their flight time home.

Registration Fee

For students who are not receiving a scholarship, the Registration Fee is $1,500.00 if your Application Form is received before September 25; after September 25 the fee increases to $1,600.00. The Registration Fee is prorated to $1,000.00 for students attending a one-week class. Please note: you do not have to pay the Registration Fee by September 25, you must send in the Application Form before September 25.


To be considered for any of the 3 scholarships available, you must submit four documents: an application form; a cover letter explaining why the USPAS is important to your career and describing prior research experience, work with or as a user of particle accelerators; your CV; at least one letter of recommendation. Students receiving any scholarship are expected to fully participate in all aspects of the course and must take their course for credit/a grade. Students receiving housing support must share their hotel room with another student. Scholarships are open to both domestic and international students. Consideration will be given to balancing class sizes. Multiple awards are possible.

Note: International students requesting a scholarship who are not from U.S. visa-waiver countries must already be in possession of a visa that is valid for the entire period of the USPAS session.

APS Division of Physics of Beams Travel Scholarship

The Division of Physics of Beams (DPB) of the American Physical Society is offering a limited number of travel scholarships to USPAS students. Applicants must be members of the DPB (if you are not already a member you must join before requesting the award; student membership is free for the first year). The DPB scholarship will cover travel expenses and a USPAS scholarship will cover housing and your registration fee. Typical travel awards amounts will be $600.00 with the possibility of larger awards for higher cost points of origin. These scholarships are open to domestic and international students who meet the usual USPAS scholarship requirements (required documents listed above). You can enroll for DPB membership here  https://www.aps.org/membership/ and more details on eligibility and the selection criteria can be found at DPB Scholarship Details.

Auditing Your Course

If you are auditing your course(s), you will not enroll at Northern Illinois University and will not earn a grade. You are not required to complete homework assignments nor take any exams. Domestic and international attendees who audit their course will be asked to complete a USPAS Audit Form.

Taking your Course for Credit/a Grade

If you are taking your course(s) for host university credit, you will enroll at Northern Illinois University through the USPAS and will fully participate in class. Because our courses are co-listed, Indiana University, Michigan State University and MIT students may directly earn home university credit for their USPAS course. Students enrolled for credit/a grade are expected to complete homework, take all exams and participate fully in class. If you successfully pass a two-week class (or 2 one-week classes) you will earn 3 units of academic credit through Northern Illinois University. Students enrolled in 1 one-week course are not eligible for university credit but may ask for their work to be graded and performance rated. Students enrolled for credit will be asked to complete a Northern Illinois University/USPAS Enrollment Form.

Academic Status at Northern Illinois University

Students must make final confirmation of their choice to take their course for credit or audit on or before Tuesday, January 23, 2024. Official transcripts will be maintained by NIU. Students receiving financial support from the USPAS or the DPB must enroll for university credit. Foreign nationals receiving financial support from the USPAS may not enroll for credit, but they must participate fully in all aspects of their session and have their performance rated.

International Participants

This USPAS program is open to participation by both domestic and international attendees. The program is an intense learning experience sponsored by Northern Illinois University from January - February 2, 2024 only. Because this program is not a course of full-time study, an F visa (student visa) is not appropriate. We believe a B visa (visitor/business visa) or Visa Waiver is appropriate. International participants not currently residing in the U.S. may attend the program and may request financial sponsorship, but they may not earn credit from NIU. International participants receiving financial support from the USPAS must participate fully in all aspects of their session and will receive a letter confirming their attendance and rating their performance. Failure to turn in assignments or take exams could jeopardize financial support awarded by the USPAS.

Note: International students requesting a scholarship who are not from U.S. visa-waiver countries must already be in possession of a visa that is valid for the entire period of the USPAS session.

You will be asked to complete an International Participant Registration Form.

USPAS Registration and Course Check-In

Registration will be held on Sunday January 21 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Hampton Roads Convention Center (1610 Coliseum Drive, Hampton Virginia 23666) which is a few steps away from where sleeping rooms and breakfasts will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Hampton Roads (1700 Coliseum Drive, Hampton Virginia 23666) Dinner will available from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The USPAS Director will give a welcome talk at 7:00 p.m.

If you do not register with the USPAS on Sunday night, you must register on Monday morning, January 22 before class starts at 9 a.m. If you arrive after registration hours Sunday night, please have breakfast in the hotel lobby area and then walk to the Convention Center which is where the USPAS Office will be located. If you are scheduled to arrive for classes the second week only (January 29 - February 2), information will be provided so that you know when and where dinner will be served, what your classroom assignment is, and to remind you to check-in with the USPAS staff Monday morning of the second week. The USPAS Office will be open weekdays beginning Monday, January 22, during normal business hours.

You can always reach us at cell number 312-505-8797 should you have questions.


By reserving your hotel room via a link we provide to you, you may take advantage of a special reduced hotel room rate and any extras (free internet in your sleeping room, etc) that we have negotiated for our participants at the Embassy Suites Hampton Roads. A group block of hotel rooms have been reserved for USPAS participants. A single room is available for $107.00 plus tax (currently 15%) plus a $2.00 Cultural Fee per night and a double room (shared by 2 people) is $53.50 plus tax (currently 15%) plus a $2.00 Cultural Fee per person per night. We are using an Embassy Suites hotel so breakfasts are included in your room rate. Rooms may be reserved at our rate 3 days before and 3 days after the School dates based on hotel availability.

Please confirm your departure date when you check-in to the hotel as they may charge an Early Departure Fee (equal to one night of housing) if you change your departure date after check-in.

As is true with any hotel, this hotel may impose access and service charges in addition to time charges for phone calls (even for credit card or 800-number calls) so it is wise to confirm applicable charges from your sleeping room before using the telephone in your room.

A free daily breakfast is provided by the hotel to each registered guest (it is included in your room rate) and they also offer a free evening reception each night. Each room is a mini suite with a separate living area that includes a microwave and refrigerator. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center and a coin-operated/Apple Pay washer and dryer onsite. There is a limited-service grab & go cafe with Starbucks in the hotel lobby.

The hotel is a couple of miles from lunch options so it would be useful to have a car. Parking at the hotel is $5.00 per day. Parking at the Convention Center next door is free.

All USPAS participants should make their hotel room reservation through a link we will send in your acceptance email. All reservations require a one-night deposit to hold your room. No charge will be made to your credit card unless you fail to cancel your reservation as directed on the form, i.e., 72 hrs. in advance of your scheduled arrival. We never recommend using a debit card for your one-night deposit or to use when you check-in at the hotel. The hotel will "hold" an amount of money on your debit card and it could take your bank several days (or longer) to release that hold. You would not have access to those funds during the "hold" period. It is allowed but it is not recommended.

Even if your accommodations are being paid for by the USPAS, you must guarantee your arrival by credit card (the one-night deposit). Please remember that this is only a guarantee (a deposit). After your arrival, the room charges for housing scholarship students will be paid directly by the USPAS. If your guarantee is made by credit card and you arrive as scheduled, no room charges will be put on your card. It is important that you tell us if your travel plans do not match what is on the web form; note that some date changes may make you responsible for payment, e.g., if you arrive earlier than or stay later than School dates. Also, if you are scheduled to have a roommate and one does not appear, notify the USPAS Office the following morning so that your room can be reassigned if necessary. Otherwise you may be responsible for room charges.

Each guest will be required to give the hotel a credit card to guarantee payment of any personal charges (telephone calls, room service, restaurant charges, in-room movies, etc.). We do not recommend that you use a debit card for this type of payment guarantee for the reasons stated above. If you do not give the hotel a credit card to cover personal charges then the ability to make personal charges will be turned off for your room.

Please note if you are receiving financial support from the USPAS to cover your sleeping room: the USPAS will only pay for your room during the dates of the program. If you arrive earlier or stay later than those dates, you are responsible for paying the extra cost.


Parking at the hotel is $5.00 per day. Day parking at the Convention Center next door is free.


The hotel will provide breakfasts and the USPAS will provide dinners to all participants (students and teaching teams). USPAS dinners will be provided from 6 to 7 p.m. beginning Sunday, January 21 through Thursday, February 1 (including the weekend, i.e. 12 dinners). Breakfasts are included in the room rate and provided by the hotel each day of your stay. Students attending both weeks of the school will receive 12 USPAS dinners, students attending one week of the school will receive 5 USPAS dinners. Attendees are free to make their own lunch arrangements.

Meal tickets will be provided to local attendees and dinner tickets for accompanying persons may be purchased from the USPAS Office (accompanying persons who are registered at the hotel will receive hotel breakfasts at no extra cost).

Study Room

USPAS Study is scheduled at the Hampton Roads Convention Center every evening from 7:00 p.m. to midnight (including the weekend).

Class Computing Requirements and Internet Access

We will not have a Computer Lab with shared PCs so all participants are required to bring their own portable computer to access online course notes and computer resources. This can be a laptop or a tablet with a sufficiently large screen and keyboard. Windows, Mac, and Linux-based systems that are wifi capable and have a standard web browser and mouse are all acceptable. You should have privileges for software installs. If you are unable to bring a computer, please contact uspas@fnal.gov ASAP. Very limited IT support and spare loaner laptops will be available during the session..

We have secured free guest room internet for attendees booking their room via the housing link we send in your acceptance email.

Airport and Ground Transportation

There are two airports to consider:

1) Norfolk International Airport (ORF) is 30 minutes/18 miles from the hotel.

2) Newport News/Williamsburg Airport (PHF) is a smaller airport with fewer available flights but is only 10 miles from the hotel.

The Convention Center provides this link with information: https://thehrcc.com/attend-an-event/transportation/

Code of Conduct

Please read our Code of Conduct.