About the Joint Programs

THE CHEMICAL PHYSICS PROGRAM offers students the option to carry our their Ph.D. thesis research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the joint supervision of participating government scientists and Maryland faculty. Additional research opportunities are available under the auspices of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), a partnership between NIST and the University of Maryland.

Read more about these possibilities below.


The main campus NISTof the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is in Gaithersburg, MD, a half-hour drive from College Park. Formerly the National Bureau of Standards, NIST has the primary national responsibility for developing and maintaining standards of physical measurement. The agency is charged with assisting industry in the development of technology and procedures needed to improve the quality of manufacturing production.

The University of Maryland at College Park and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD, together constitute one of the largest research centers in North America in atomic, molecular, and optical science, and in related areas such as chemical kinetics and surface science. For the graduate student, the joint program combines Ph.D. study in a leading research university with exposure to the environment and opportunities of a major national laboratory.

Program Summary
As part of the Chemical Physics Program of the University of Maryland, the Joint Graduate Program with NIST is governed by the academic regulations of the University. The NIST/Chemical Physics Fellowship provides an annual stipend of $14,000 for five years, subject to satisfactory academic progress. In addition, it includes tuition remission for up to 12 credits per semester and three credits during summer sessions.

Students take courses in the physical sciences at the University of Maryland, while Ph.D. thesis research in the AMO sciences may be carried out at the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the joint supervision of a NIST scientist and University of Maryland faculty member.

Students interested in admission to the Joint Graduate Program should apply to the Chemical Physics Program, stating their interest. These applications will be reviewed by a committee of University faculty and NIST participating scientists, who will make recommendations to the Admissions Committee, which makes the final decisions.

Click here for more information about the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is one of the world's foremost biomedical research centers, and is the federal focal point for health research. An agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, NIH is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Its mission is the pursuit of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and application of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability. More than 3,000 Ph.D. scientists are employed at NIH and the cooperative program with the Chemical Physics Program provides vast opportunities for Ph.D. research in biophysics and related areas.

Click here for more information about the National Institutes of Health.


The Joint Quantum Institute is a research partnership between University of Maryland (UMD) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, with the support and participation of the Laboratory for Physical Sciences. Created in 2006 to pursue theoretical and experimental studies of quantum physics in the context of information science and technology, JQI is located on UMD's College Park campus. Students in the Chemical Physics program can pursue their Ph.D. research with JQI Fellows.

Click here for more information about The Joint Quantum Institute.

University of Maryland   •   Chemical Physics Program   •   Physical Sciences Complex   •   College Park, MD 20742   •   301-405-4780