Oct 27, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, Ph.D.


Degree Requirements


Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must satisfactorily complete eight core courses, four elective graduate courses in physics or astrophysics, and at least 48 credit hours of graduate courses in total. Students typically take the core sequence of courses during their first two years, and may take electives during their second and later years, according to their interests and in consultation with their research adviser.

Elective Courses (12 Credit Hours)


Candidates choose four elective graduate courses in consultation with the the Ph.D. adviser. These can be core courses not used to satisfy the core requirements, courses selected from the following list of additional departmental courses (depending on availability in a given academic year), and even some courses outside the department. Additional courses in the department that have been regularly utilized as electives are:

A list of courses outside the department which have proven useful as physics electives can found in the Physics Department Graduate Student Handbook.

Research Courses (12 Credit Hours)


After completing core courses and electives, students typically sign up for 8000-level research courses  under their adviser until reaching the required 48 credit hours. No more than 12 credit hours can be in dissertation courses. Courses that are available to meet the needs of the student, in consultation with their adviser, are as follows:

Comprehensive Qualifying Exam


In order to advance to Ph.D. candidacy, students must pass a comprehensive qualifying exam in the form of a four-part written exam on the topics of Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Electrodynamics, and Statistical Mechanics. Exams are given annually, usually just prior to the start of the spring semester. Students are allowed two attempts to pass all four sections and must do so before the beginning of their fourth semester.

Total: 48 Credit Hours