For more details about the requirements listed below, see the 2017 Graduate Student Guide.

Course Requirements

To allow students the flexibility to choose courses that are related to their field of research, there is no set course track for physics graduate students. However, there are a few requirements:

  • All students must take two courses outside his/her area of specialization. One of these must be a 700 or 800 level physics course.
  • Theory students must take either PHYS624 or PHYS625.
  • All students must take two semesters of a physics seminar course.
  • All students must take the non-credit Foundations and Frontiers of Physics seminar. Typically, this is done during the second semester of graduate study. This non-credit seminar requirement is in addition to the two semesters of physics seminars.

Advancing to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, all students must:

  • Pass the Qualifying Examination. Students are given three tries to pass the exam. A “free try” is allowed within the first year of study. You can use past qualifying exams to study.
  • Give a Preliminary Research Presentation. This presentation is expected to be given within a year after passing the Qualifying Exam.
  • Submit a Scholarly Paper. This paper should be written within four years of entering the graduate program.

Additional Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

To graduate with the Doctor of Philosophy degree, all students must:

  • Complete all of the requirements for advancing to candidacy.
  • Take at least 12 credits (2 semesters) of Doctoral Dissertation Research (PHYS899). Students who have reached candidacy will be registered for 6 credits of PHYS899 each semester until he/she graduates.
  • Register for classes each Fall and Spring semester until graduation.
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Write and successfully defend an original dissertation.
  • Meet all degree deadlines, outlined here

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