Statement of Mutual Expectations between Physics and its Graduate Students

Graduate students in CMNS doctoral programs are expected to develop a mastery of their field, and gain familiarity with their discipline from arrival to graduation.

In particular, full-time doctoral students in Physics who arrive with a baccalaureate degree normally will:

  • Pass Ph.D. Qualifier Exam by end of 2nd year.
  • Become engaged in research no later than the end of their 2nd year, and often before that;
  • Identify a thesis adviser by the beginning of their 3rd year.
  • Identify a thesis topic by the end of their 3rd year.
  • Secure admission to candidacy within 3-4 years.
  • Submit at least one paper for publication prior to graduation.
  • Complete all requirements and graduate within 7 years.


Graduate students in CMNS doctoral programs normally may expect:

  • A wide selection of courses.
  • Advice and mentoring by faculty in their program prior to the selection of an adviser.
  • From their adviser (or, in some instances the program):
    • Regular access and advice during the research and thesis writing process.
    • Training in the preparation of oral and written scholarly presentations; in particular, advice and support for the writing of at least one paper for publication.
    • Introductions, for example at conferences, to other members of the field.
    • Assistance and advice with job searches.

Department of Physics

University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-4111
Phone: 301.405.3401
Fax: 301.314.9525