Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Physics

All PhD programs must incorporate a standard set of Requirements for the Doctoral Degree.

The PhD degree in physics requires:

  1. Successful completion of a set of core physics courses;
  2. Successfully passing a Comprehensive Exam (consisting of a written Thesis Proposal and an oral Proposal Exam);
  3. Successful completion of a minimum of 2 lecture type physics graduate courses (numbered 6000-level or higher; not including the core courses);
  4. Successful completion of set of courses in a `minor’ subject;
  5. a written PhD thesis

Students are admitted to candidacy when they have completed the first two steps above. 

The core physics courses required by the School are as follows:

Core Physics Courses
PHYS 6103Electromagnetism I3
PHYS 6105Quantum Mechanics I3
PHYS 6107Statistical Mechanics I3
PHYS 6106Quantum Mechanics II3
Total Credit Hours12

In some cases, courses taken to complete the Physics elective requirement (#3 above) may be used to satisfy the Institute requirement that every doctoral student earn 6 credit hours in a minor course of study in a scientific subfield different from the subfield of their 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.