Doctor of Philosophy in Physics

General Requirements

Total Hours Required for Ph.D.—Minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree; minimum of 42 credit hours beyond the master's degree; Minimum of 24 credit hours of Physics Doctoral Dissertation.

I. Core Courses—15 hours:

PHYS 7003 Advanced Classical Mechanics
PHYS 7043 Advanced Quantum Mechanics
PHYS 7063 Electromagnetic Theory
PHYS 7083 Statistical Mechanics
PHYS 7971-3 Physics Seminar

The student will achieve an in-depth understanding of a particular area of specialization through the selection of appropriate elective courses, independent study, and dissertation research. Areas of specialization will follow the research interests of the faculty and include Condensed Matter Physics, Photonics, and Nanotechnology Physics.

The student's research advisory committee, immediately following the student successful passing the preliminary examination, will determine the additional required elective courses. For students already holding a Master's degree, a variable number of hours may be applied to the Ph.D. as determined by the Departmental Graduate Committee and with the approval of the Graduate School.

Elective selections could, for example, include:

Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics

PHYS 7153 Methods of Theoretical Physics
PHYS 7573 Condensed Matter Physics
MATH 6603 Introduction to Numerical Methods
MATH 7013 Advanced Mathematical Modeling

Experimental Solid State Physics/Nanotechnology

PHYS 7563 Electrodynamics of continuous media.
PHYS 7573 Condensed Matter Physics
MATH 6603 Introduction to Numerical Methods
MATH 7273 Numerical Differential Equations


PHYS 7563 Electrodynamics of Continuous Media.
PHYS 7523 Advanced Photonics (new course)
MATH 6603 Introduction to Numerical Methods
MATH 7273 Numerical Differential Equations

Minimum Mathematics courses – 6 credit hours

Unrestrictive Elective Courses—6 credit hours

NOTE: No more that 12 hours of 6000 level courses can be used for the degree.

Preliminary Examination: The University's qualifying examination requirement will be satisfied by passing a written preliminary examination at the end of the first year of graduate study. The examination may be retaken once, at the end of the second year.

Ph.D. Candidacy Examination: By the end of the second year, students will take the Ph.D. candidacy examination. The examination consists of writing and orally defending a presentation of their preliminary dissertation research accomplishments and plans.

Dissertation Defense: The final requirement for the Ph.D. degree is the completion of a satisfactory written dissertation of his/her research, along with successful presentation and public defense of the dissertation to the student's dissertation advisory committee. The thesis committee will be comprised of four or five members, including one non-program faculty member. Dissertations must be submitted to the committee at least two weeks prior to the defense date, and public disclosure of the defense date must be given at least one week prior to the defense.