Department of Physics and Astronomy

Graduate Program: Policies

Summary guide of Ph.D. student policies (pdf file) 

Transfer of credits

To officially waive one or more core courses within the PhD degree requirements, the student must wait until after passing the PhD Qualifying Exam and forming an advisory committee. For students entering with an acceptable master's degree, the College of Graduate Studies allows up to 30 hours of credit toward the Ph.D. with approval by the student's advisory committee. The committee may recommend that a smaller number of hours be granted. Information on the College of Graduate Studies requirements along with a link to the corresponding Request for Transfer Credit Form are available here.  


In some cases, a student may wish to obtain a waiver of a required course without receiving any additional credit hours from UT or transferring credit from another institution. In order to do so, the student first consults with his/her PhD advisory committee who will decide what evidence of appropriateness is needed: e.g., special examinations, review of information about course content and level, success in more advanced courses in the same area, etc. The student's advisory committee then formulates a written recommendation to the department chair.  The written recommendation includes an explanation of the rationale used.  The department chair may wish to consult additional faculty committees or individuals. If he or she approves the recommendation, it is recorded in the student's file and transmitted to the College. 

continuation of Teaching assistantships

In the Department of Physics and Astronomy, students normally make a transition from a teaching to a research assistantship after they have chosen a permanent adviser, depending on the availability of funding and other factors. However, research assistantships are not always available. The department makes every effort to provide assistantship support for students through to the Ph. D., provided the student remains in good academic standing and makes satisfactory progress in research. Continued support is at the discretion of the student’s advisory committee and the department chair. At annual report time, in February, the committee makes a recommendation to the faculty and the department chair concerning continuation of assistantship support.

NOTE: A faculty member may advise one Ph. D. student who has passed the Ph. D. qualifying exam and is supported by teaching assistantship, contingent on availability of resources. Base budget (TA) support of a second Ph. D. student requires approval of a petition from the student and the advisor to the department chair.


More policies to come; page under construction

Last Updated: 8/28/19