The qualifying examination for ATPH students includes a written and an oral component to evaluate the student's level of knowledge in the areas taught in the first year of the ATPH physics program as well as the student's abilities to perform research. The written Exam consists of 3 sections: Atmospheric Dynamics, Atmospheric Thermodynamic, and Atmospheric Radiation. Students must pass the entire qualifying examination by the beginning of their 4th semester. Students who fail to do so will not be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.
Preliminary PhD Committee and PhD Proposal
Students must secure a tenure-track member of the Department of Physics faculty to serve as their PhD research Advisor. In consultation with their PhD Advisor, students form a Preliminary PhD Committee consisting of the PhD Advisor and at least two other faculty members of the Department of Physics. At least two of the members of this committee must be tenure-track faculty. The Preliminary PhD Committee must be formed by the end of the 5'th semester in the program. Students must present a PhD research Proposal to their Preliminary PhD Committee. The PhD Proposal consists of two parts: a written proposal, and an oral presentation of the proposal.
PhD Candidacy and PhD Dissertation
After completing all required coursework (except PHYS 899), the Qualifying Examination, and the PhD Proposal, a student is eligible to be considered for PhD Candidacy. Based on the recommendation of the Preliminary PhD Committee, the full faculty of the Department of Physics will vote on the student's admission to PhD Candidacy. All students must be voted into PhD Candidacy by the start of their 4'th year in the program.
After admission to PhD Candidacy and completion of the doctoral research, students are required to write and defend a PhD Dissertation before a Final PhD Committee formed in accordance with Graduate School policies. The Chair of this committee must be a tenure-track member of the Department of Physics.