Department of Physics and Astronomy


Graduate students in physics pursue new knowledge and understanding through experimental and computational research in collaboration with faculty who consistently seek to improve their methods and directions to address the topics of greatest importance to humanity.  Incoming Ph.D. students discuss research opportunities with at least five different faculty members during Spring semester of their first year, joining a group to begin research during the summer of the first year.  Students are encouraged to engage productively in research problems early in the program.

The first three or four semesters of the Ph.D. program involve significant coursework, on topics including quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, statistical mechanics, electrodynamics, and mathematical methods.  The breadth and depth afforded by the course requirements prepares students for their thesis / dissertation research project, during which their knowledge is applied, exercised, and extended.

Students in M.S. programs similarly follow a combined schedule of coursework and research.  More information can be found on the Degree Requirements page.

Graduate Program

Last Updated: 3/23/15