Resources for Current Students

The physics graduate office is here to support students and the academic mission of the physics option. Start with our office and we will do our best to answer your questions.

People you should know in the Physics Option


Gil Refael, Physics Executive Officer

Gil monitors graduate student policies in the department including the course and exam requirements. Students should consult with Gil when selecting the candidacy, TAC, and defense committee. Gil is available to sign student forms and petitions if Jonas is not available.


Jonas Zmuidzinas, Physics Graduate Option Representative

Jonas monitors student academic progress and signs most of the graduate forms and petitions you are likely to encounter. As option rep, he approves your plan of study for the advanced physics requirement, approves your candidacy, TAC, and defense committees, and approves completion of degree milestones. Jonas also manages the graduate teaching assignments in physics.

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Sofie Leon, PMA Graduate Program Director
Office: B161 West Bridge 
see PMA Students Programs Calendar for schedule

Sofie is a resource for students and liaison between students, faculty, and graduate administration. She works closely with the graduate option representative and EO to support the graduate programs within the division. Sofie coordinates academic tracking, advising, graduate admissions, recruitment, student work assignments, and student engagement in PMA.

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Mika Walton, Graduate Affairs Administrator for Physics and Math
Office: B161 West Bridge 
see PMA Students Programs Calendar for schedule

Mika helps with administrative issues that physics graduate students are likely to encounter at Caltech. She can help with scheduling written candidacy exams, booking rooms for oral candidacy exam and thesis defense, problems with funding or paychecks, joining or switching research groups, interfacing with the graduate office, handling various types of leaves, funding changes, etc.

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Meagan Heirwegh, Undergraduate Affairs Administrator for Physics and Math
Office: 156 Linde Hall
see PMA Students Programs Calendar for schedule

Provides support for all physics courses, incuding assisting with TA assignments, coordinating TA training, and organizing course logistics. See Meagan if you have a question about a course you are TAing, need help with homework or exam turn in and return, booking a room for a course, ordering food for a course, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Oral candidacy FAQs

What am I supposed to do in REGIS? - Descriptions of what to enter in REGIS are in the grey boxes on the PhD Requirements page

Conference travel funding for physics graduate students

Physics Graduate Students may apply for the David and Barbara Groce travel fund, which covers up to $500 annually, for travel and registration to attend scientific conferences/meetings. Additional travel funding can be applied for through the Graduate Studies Office.

Apply for the physics conference travel here!

Link to graduate office funding

PMA Division and Campus Resources

Visit the PMA Students Programs page for more resources, opportunities, and more!