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The Weizmann Institute of Science is a world-leading research institute and graduate school, with MSc and PhD programs in Physics, Math, Biology, Chemistry, and Computer Science. It is located in Rehovot, Israel, a homely town within 25 minutes commute from Tel Aviv. The Faculty of Physics at the institute accepts about 50 MSc and PhD students every year. The MSc program takes 24 months and ends with the defense of an MSc thesis; The PhD program takes 54 months and ends with a PhD defense. All courses, paperwork, and correspondence at the Weizmann Institute are done in English. The graduate programs at Weizmann are free, and all students receive a fellowship.
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Alumni statistics and ranking
Studying at Weizmann provides excellent career opportunities both for those wishing to continue their career in academia and for those who desire switching to industry. In last 5 years, out of 85 Weizmann PhD graduates, 42 went on for a postdoc and 7 have already become a principal investigator (head of a research group)!
Postdoc institutes: Weizmann (5), Harvard (4), Berkeley (4), Caltech (3), MIT (3), Princeton (2), ETH Zurich (2), Columbia (2), Stanford (2), Oxford, Kings College London, Wuppertal, Harish-Chandra, Ben-Gurion, OSU, Maryland, Lyon, Salk, Courant, Basel, NIST, Institute of Advanced Study, CERN, UCSB.
PI institutes: Tel-Aviv University (2), Hebrew University Jerusalem (2), Weizmann, ETH Zurich, SAO.
The Weizmann Institute in ranked #6 in the world in the 2017 Nature Innovation Index (and is the only non-US institution in the top ten).
The Weizmann Institute is ranked #9 in world for impact of publications per person (and #2 outside the USA) by the Leiden Ranking (link: http://www.leidenranking.com/ranking/2018/list)
Application requirements for MSc program
Applications to MSc program are accepted only through the online application form (more details here). There is no application fee. This year's deadline for the applications is March 31. Some of the students will be accepted to the program on the merits of their application, while others will have to pass an interview (conducted at Weizmann or through Skype). Students are accepted to the MSc program and not to a specific research group, which is to be chosen towards the end of the first year of studies.
Filling out online application form
Recommendation letters from someone in the academy (at least one is required, up to 4 letters can be uploaded)
BSc official transcript (or transcript with the current grades)
If you have passed international exams (e.g. GRE, GRE subject, TOEFL/IELTS for non-native English speakers), please attach the results to the application. GRE results should be sent directly from the GRE testing center, Weizmann GRE code is 3398.
MSc Studies outline
The MSc program takes 24 months and ends with the defense of an MSc thesis. The studies start in October. In the first semester (October – February), students take three obligatory courses in quantum mechanics (I+II, which includes introduction to quantum field theory) and statistical physics. In the second semester (March – July), students choose some of the elective courses (the list of courses can be found here) and select their scientific advisor. The first year also includes one or two 3-week stints in an experimental lab. The first year ends with the submission of a research proposal.
During the second year, students continue to take elective courses, but focus mostly on the research. An MSc thesis is to be submitted 24 months from the studies start date, with an optional few-month extension. MSc thesis (circa 30 pages) is expected to be roughly equivalent to a paper in a scientific journal; in fact, many Weizmann students publish a paper or several based on their MSc research. The thesis defense is an oral presentation of the work in front of a committee and the MSc advisor.
The MSc degree requires accumulation of 36 credit points of the courses. Upon defending the thesis, student may continue to the PhD program, either in the same or in a different research group.
Direct PhD track is an option for those wishing to continue their research in the same lab. Transfer to this track is done in coordination with the group heads during the second MSc year. There is no MSc thesis and no defense in the direct track, and the MSc studies are concluded with the submission of the PhD research proposal. The PhD thesis is due 42 months after the beginning of the studies, and therefore the total duration of the direct track is 1 year less than the sum of separate MSc and PhD.
To apply to the PhD program, students should contact directly the head of the research group they want to join. Generally, an MSc degree in Physics is a prerequisite for enrolling to PhD.
The PhD program takes 54 months and ends with a PhD defense. During the PhD studies, students carry out research in their research group or lab, and in parallel complete several elective courses (12 credit points). Usually, three reports are due during the program (“proposal”, “interim”, and “final”), which are presented to a thesis committee. A main aim of the thesis committee is to provide an oversight and to assert the well-being of both the student and his research.
The PhD is concluded with the submission and the defense of the PhD thesis, within 54 months from the beginning of the studies.
According to our international students, life in Israel is very different from (and much better than) the common stereotypes. Despite the grim picture one may infer from the news, life in Israel is extremely safe and is safer than, for example, many countries of Western Europe. It is not necessary to know Hebrew to live in Israel, as most Israelis speak fluent English and are glad to help if needed. Knowing Russian is also useful, as 15% of Israeli have arrived from ex-USSR countries and speak Russian. We believe that no one can be left unmoved by Israel vibrant culture, and you will soon consider Israel to be your second home.
The graduate programs at Weizmann are free, and all students receive a fellowship. MSc fellowship is 5930 NIS per month, PhD fellowship is 6805 NIS per month during the 1st year and 7840 NIS per month later (currently 1 Euro ≈ 4.2 NIS and $1 ≈ 3.7NIS). All international Weizmann students have the medical insurance costs reimbursed.
All foreign Weizmann students can live in the dorms for up to 2 years. They can also rent a room or an apartment in Rehovot, Tel Aviv, or somewhere else. Some figures for the sample monthly budget are presented below.
Students are not allowed to have a side job outside the institute by both Weizmann internal rules and visa requirements, but they can work for an extra salary as teaching of grading assistants at Weizmann. These jobs are usually done by PhD and senior MSc students.
Lunch at a Weizmann canteen: 25 NIS
Weekly grocery shopping for one: <250 NIS
Studio in the dorms, monthly rent: 1390 NIS
Room in 3-bedroom apartment in Rehovot, monthly rent + bills: 1800 NIS
Studio in Rehovot, monthly rent + bills: 2500 NIS
Room in 3-bedroom apartment in Tel-Aviv, monthly rent + bills: 3000 NIS
Return student train ticket to Tel-Aviv: 19 NIS
Greater Tel-Aviv area (including Rehovot) yearly student all-included transportation pass: 1458 NIS
Monthly Weizmann gym subscription: 80 NIS
The Faulty of Physics at the Weizmann Institute is divided into three departments. Information about the various research groups can be found within the departmental websites: