Doctor of Philosophy in Physics


Written qualifying examination
Comprehensive examination
Dissertation and oral defense

The requirements for the degree consist of a program of 72 credit hours approved by the faculty adviser, passing the Ph.D. qualifying and comprehensive examinations, and the completion of a research thesis supervised by a faculty member and approved by a thesis committee. Students should consult the Transfer Credit section of this catalog for rules on how many credit hours may be transferred from another institution.

Required Courses (27)
PHYS 501Methods of Theoretical Physics I3
PHYS 505Electromagnetic Theory3
PHYS 508Analytical Dynamics3
PHYS 509Quantum Theory I 13
PHYS 510Quantum Theory II3
PHYS 515Statistical Mechanics3
Select a minimum of three courses from the following:9
Methods of Theoretical Physics II3
General Relativity3
Solid State Physics I3
Solid State Physics II3
Physical Methods of Characterization3
Particle Physics I3
Particle Physics II3
Quantum Field Theory3
Radiation Biophysics3
Introduction to Synchrotron Radiation3
Radiation Physics3
Colloquium Requirement (0-4)
Four semesters of colloquium coursework is required.0-4
Physics Colloquium (may be taken multiple times)1
Physics Colloquium (may be taken multiple times)0
Elective Courses (2-21)
Select 2-21 credit hours 22-21
Ph.D. Research (24-36)
PHYS 691Research and Thesis Ph.D.24-36

Minimum degree credits required: 72


The six-credit hour course sequence PHYS 405 and PHYS 406 may be substituted for PHYS 509 with adviser and departmental approval.


The remaining course requirements may be satisfied by additional graduate or advanced undergraduate electives.

Students are encouraged to participate in faculty research programs and seminars early in their graduate careers. Thesis work may follow from these activities. All research for the dissertation must be carried out under the direct supervision of a faculty research adviser.