Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Physics

The PhD degree in physics requires:

  1. admission to candidacy;
  2. a program of study in core and advanced physics courses;
  3. a minor course of study; and
  4. successful defense of the PhD thesis.

Students are admitted to candidacy when they have

  1. passed the Comprehensive Exam:
  2. selected a Thesis Reading Committee; and
  3. submitted a thesis proposal to the graduate coordinator.

To ensure adequate preparation for the Comprehensive Exam, the School strongly recommends that the first year of graduate study be devoted to coursework as follows:

First Semester

  1. PHYS 6101 Classical Mechanics I (3)
  2. PHYS 6103 Electromagnetism I (3)
  3. PHYS 6105 Quantum Mechanics I (3)
  4. PHYS 6124 Mathematical Methods of Physics I (3)

Second Semester

  1. PHYS 6107 Statistical Mechanics I (3)
  2. PHYS 6104 Electromagnetism II (3)
  3. PHYS 6106 Quantum Mechanics II (3)
  4. PHYS 8901 Special Problems (3)

The School requires every doctoral student to take two lecture-type graduate physics courses not including those previously listed. In some cases, these may be used to satisfy the Institute requirement that every doctoral student earn 9 credit hours in a minor course of study in a scientific subfield different from the subfield of his or her PhD thesis research. Alternatively, these credit hours are earned in a school other than physics. Finally, each student must prepare a written dissertation that summarizes the PhD research and present a public, oral defense of the dissertation to a Thesis Exam Committee.