Program Details

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Updated: September 26, 2018

Total number of tenure-track or tenured faculty


Number of women in tenure-track or tenured faculty positions


[Calculated] Percentage of women in tenure-track or tenured faculty positions


Total number of graduate students


Number of women graduate students


[Calculated] Percentage of women graduate students


Total number of post doctoral associates


Number of women post doctoral associates


[Calculated] Percentage of women post doctoral associates


Is there a family leave policy for graduate students? If so, describe.

6 weeks of parental leave with full tuition and stipend support, one semester extension of academic deadlines.

Is there family health insurance for graduate students? If so, is it included in the stipend?

Family health insurance is available for purchase by the student, it is not included in the stipend.

Do you have a Woman in Physics Group? If yes, please include link to their website if they have one.

Yes, we have an active Women in Physics organization as of 2018.

Do you have a Physics Graduate Student Association? If yes, please include link to their website if they have one.


What other relevant student groups are there in your institution?

UNC has over 600 student groups. Two groups that may be of particular interest are:
1. Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF): Provides money for travel grants, hosts social and volunteer events.
2. Student Parent Association: Resources and support for pregnant and parenting students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical residents.

Has your institution ever hosted a Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics? If yes, which year?


Has your institution ever hosted an APS Climate Site Visit for Women and Minorities in Physics?


Please describe why someone applying to graduate school who is interested in a female-friendly department should choose your department.

As a physics & astronomy department we are leaders in women faculty representation, including leadership positions such as associate and department chairs. The wider UNC environment is also showing signs of greater involvement of women in leadership roles, ranging from chairs of STEM departments, to our university chancellor. These changes have coincided with initiatives at our department to provide a more welcoming environment specifically to URM, women, and non-traditional students, such as the overhaul of the doctoral qualifier exams, the modernization of the graduate curriculum, a new faculty mentor program for pre-qual students, and a designation of upper level graduate tutors for incoming graduate students. In addition, the department acquired APS Bridge partnership status in 2016, with the goal of further diversifying the graduate student population.

Our department is also family-friendly for faculty, staff, and students, including several women faculty who have had children in recent years. The local environment is an excellent place to start a family, with world-class medical centers (UNC and Duke) and an excellent public school system. UNC sits in the NC triangle formed by Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, an area with a rapidly growing economy offering job opportunities in biotechnology, academia / education, computer engineering, and a variety of STEM fields; as such, it is an excellent place for dual-career couples looking to relocate.

Please include the name of faculty or staff member and an email they can be reached at for further questions.

Amy Oldenburg, Associate Professor and Department Diversity Liaison.

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