Provost's Office

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Philip B. James, Chairperson
Constantine Theodosiou, Graduate Adviser


Requirements for the Master's Degree

For a degree of Master of Science or Master of Science and Education, a student must complete 30 hours of graduate credit including the following: (a) PHYS 6140 and an additional 15 hours of graduate course credit in Physics, with six of the 15 hours numbered above 6000. Credit in PHYS 5900, 6010, and/or 6020 will not count toward either degree; (b) The student must present a satisfactory thesis based on directed research for no more than eight hours of degree credit; (c) The remaining hours within the 30 total may be chosen from any courses approved for graduate credit not previously elected, with the approval of the student's committee. In some cases students working toward the Ph.D. may earn the M.S. or the M.S.E. degree without formal presentation of the M.S. thesis if they have passed the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination, satisfied the course requirements for the M.S., and completed a research project under the supervision of a research adviser. Students meeting these requirements may petition the department to grant the M.S. without formal presentation of a thesis.


M.S. in Physics with Materials Science Option

A Master of Science Degree in Physics with a Materials Science Option is available. For this degree, a student must complete 30 hours of graduate credit, including the following: (a) PHYS 6140, 6540, 6550, and an additional 12 hours of graduate course credit in Physics with six of the 12 hours numbered above 6000 (no degree credit for PHYS 5900, 6010, or 6020); (b) The student must present a satisfactory thesis based on directed research for no more than eight hours of degree credit; (c) The remaining hours within the 30 total may be chosen from any courses approved for graduate credit not previously elected, with the approval of the student's committee.


Requirements for the Doctoral Program

For the Doctor of Philosophy Degree, a student must complete a total of 90 hours of graduate credit including the following: MATH 6730; PHYS 7220, 7250, 7260, 7320, 7330, and 7450; at least 18 additional hours of credit in Physics in courses numbered higher than 6200 approved by the student's committee; and 30-48 hours of PHYS 8960 (Ph.D. Thesis Research). Credit in PHYS 6/8010, 6/8020, 6/7030, or 7910 will not count toward degree requirements.

The doctoral degree requirements include a Ph.D. Qualifying Examination, a Comprehensive Examination and a Final Oral Examination. The Qualifying Examination is a prerequisite for status as a Ph.D. candidate in physics; it is given in the second year of graduate work in this department for a student entering with the B.S. degree in physics (in the first year for a student entering with the M.S.). After passing the Qualifying Examination the doctoral student must select a field of specialization. A faculty committee is formed, chaired by the research adviser, to evaluate the student's progress in these matters and to establish an appropriate program of coursework. This committee then administers the Oral Comprehensive Examination, after which only the thesis research requirement remains. The graduate program ends with the presentation of the dissertation and its satisfactory defense in an oral examination. +

Last Updated: 6/26/15