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

Physics, Ph.D.

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Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

The PhD degree requires a minimum of 52 credits consisting of:

Qualifying Exam

The written Qualifying Exam consists of 4 sections: Classical Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, and Electricity and Magnetism. Each section is graded separately; if a student fails one or more sections, then he/she is only required to repeat those sections. The Qualifying Exam is offered in January and August each year. Students must pass all 4 sections of the Qualifying Exam by the beginning of their 4th semester in the program.

Preliminary Ph.D. Committee and Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. Advisor, students form a Preliminary Ph.D. Committee consisting of the Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. Committee must be formed by the end of the 5th semester in the program.

Students must present a Ph.D. research Proposal to their Preliminary Ph.D. Committee. The Ph.D. Proposal consists of two parts: a written proposal, and an oral presentation of the proposal.

Ph.D. Candidacy and Ph.D. Dissertation

After completing all required coursework (except PHYS 899), the Qualifying Examination, and the Ph.D. Proposal, a student is eligible to be considered for Ph.D. Candidacy. Based on the recommendation of the Preliminary Ph.D. Committee, the full faculty of the Department of Physics will vote on the student's admission to Ph.D. Candidacy.  All students must be voted into Ph.D. Candidacy by the start of their 4th year in the program.

After admission to Ph.D. Candidacy and completion of the doctoral research, students are required to write and defend a Ph.D. Dissertation before a Final Ph.D. Committee formed in accordance with Graduate School policies. The Chair of this committee must be a tenure-track member of the Department of Physics.

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