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The Department of Physics offers programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, and both thesis and non-thesis M.S. tracks are available. However, preference in admission will be given to Students seeking a Ph.D. degree. Usually a Ph.D. student devotes the first year mostly to basic courses, and takes the qualifying exam at the first January following his arrival. Students should become involved with a research project by the second year, and after passing the qualifying exam, must present the beginnings of a research project to a committee within six months. This presentation will normally turn into a dissertation, but the student is not bound to it and can switch to another project or even another area of research later. Typically 5-10 candidates are admitted to the PhD program every year and are offered financial support.
- Submission of scores on the Graduate Record Examination (Aptitude Test and Advanced Test in Physics) with the application for admission.
- A minimum of 24 physics course credit hours at the 600-700 level are required for the PhD.
- The following specific courses, or their equivalent, are required for the PhD degree:
Course List Code Title Credit Hours PHY 640 Classical Mechanics II 3 PHY 660 Quantum Mechanics and Modern Physics I 3 PHY 661 Quantum Mechanics and Modern Physics II 3 PHY 723 Statistical Mechanics I 3 PHY 752 Electromagnetic Theory I 3 PHY 753 Electromagnetic Theory II 3 PHY 770 Quantum Theory I 3 PHY 771 Quantum Theory II 3 Select three additional physics lecture courses at the 600 or 700 level 9 Total Credit Hours 33
- For the M.S. degree no more than 3 credit hours for reading courses may be counted, and no more than 2 credit hours of seminars. Up to 6 credit hours may be earned in thesis work for this degree.
- The physics department offers a comprehensive graduate examination each year. A passing grade at an appropriate level is required for either the M.S. or the Ph.D. A student is required to take the exam each year and is allowed two attempts toward a passing grade.
- Courses taken outside the department should be relevant to the students’ program and approved by the graduate advisor.
- Students are required to participate in research at the earliest opportunity. Specifically, upon passing the written graduate examination and before the end of the following semester, the student is required to select a faculty member who consents to serve as the student’s Ph.D. thesis advisor. Student and thesis advisor are to form, in a timely fashion, a dissertation committee to review an oral presentation of the student’s initial research activities and future plans. Should a student need to select a new thesis advisor, this selection must be made without delay, and the review process must be repeated.
- Renewal of financial support from the department is contingent, each semester, upon satisfactory performance of teaching duties and research activities, and upon timely progress towards completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. degree.
Consideration is given to applicants who have a B.S. degree in physics (or related field) with a minimum undergraduate GPA of B. The general GRE is required and subject GRE is recommended. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate proficiency in English via the TOEFL or IELTS test, even if they have previously taken courses in the US. There is not minimum GRE score for admission (although a quantitative score higher than 700 is recommended), while the minimum TOEFL score for admission is 80 in the Internet based test, or equivalent (550 in the paper based test and 213 in the Computer based one). The minimum IELTS score is 6.5.
Application deadline for the Fall Semester is February 1st. Application for financial aid is automatic and does not require any additional document on the part of the applicant. The only accepted form of application is online through the Graduate School web page. You can also obtain a profile of our department. In addition to excellence in the academic background, consideration for admission is also based on diversity and interest in one of the research fields of the Department. While not bound to it, please indicate in your application your field of interest and whether you are interested in experimental or theoretical work.
We usually do not offer Spring admission and all applications will be considered for fall admission, regardless of the time of submission. In rare circumstances, an exception can be made, and the applicant should contact us at the address reported below to request it before applying.
- Application Form
- Statement of Research
- Official Transcripts
- Official GRE scores
- Official TOEFL score
- 3 letters of recommendation
Financial support during the academic year is available in the form of either research assistantships (RAs), teaching assistantships (TAs). Research and teaching assistantships include a stipend of $22,000 per nine months as well as a tuition stipend for 9 credits per semester.
Additional financial support during the summer is also generally available for research or teaching. Moreover, special summer research fellowships are available on a competitive basis.