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March 2017: MSU Nuclear Physics graduate program retains #1 national ranking in latest report


MSU’s nuclear physics graduate program, part of the College of Natural Science’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, is among seven MSU graduate programs that rank No. 1 nationally in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.

The nuclear physics graduate program wrested the top spot from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010, and continues to set the national standard. Further bolstering MSU’s reputation in the field, already strong due to the presence of the National Superconduting Cyclotron Laboratory, the university is building the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a new national-user facility for nuclear science funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, MSU and the state of Michigan.

The continuing leadership of the MSU nuclear physics program is driven by a combination of the excellence of the faculty, staff and students of FRIB; the strong support from the NSF and the DOE, and the support and vision of the MSU administration. The future looks very bright with growing expertise in fundamental nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics and accelerator physics; along with new collaborations in other areas of science and technology at MSU and across the nation.

MSU physics and astronomy graduate students have access to world-class facilities, including: FRIB; the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and several other particle physics projects; the 4.1-m SOAR telescope in Cerro Pachón, Chile; the Keck Nanofabrication facility and the Blue Waters supercomputer. In addition, there are many opportunities for interdisciplinary work: MSU is the lead institution of the NSF Frontier Center’s JINA (Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics) and has recently established a new Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering.

The other six MSU graduate programs receiving No. 1 rankings are African history, elementary education, industrial and organizational psychology, rehabilitation counseling, secondary education, and supply chain/logistics.

The MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy graduate program as a whole placed #63 globally and #30 nationally in the new rankings.

For more information, see this MSU Today article.