a conference room with students viewing a professional development presentation

The PGSC hosts professional development workshops throughout the year.

students in a park eating at tables

Graduate students gather at the annual welcome picnic

Ph.D. — Current Students

Program Overview

The Ph.D. is the highest degree conferred by the University. It is a research degree, with the following general requirements:

  • Minimum of 51 graduate level credits.  These credits may include research (Physics 990); they must include the five core courses (Physics 711, 715, 721, 731, and 732) and a minor program
  • Pass Qualifying (“Qualifier”) and Preliminary (“Prelim”) Examinations at the Ph.D. level
  • Thesis on original research topic and thesis defense to the student’s doctoral thesis committee

The completion of a program of original research is the critical component of each student’s Ph.D. Program. An early start in selecting a research area and a doctoral advisor is encouraged and expected; students in the Physics Ph.D. program may select any physics faculty member or affiliate member. The department is open and informal, and professors are always eager to talk with students who are interested in working in their research areas. An important goal of a first-year graduate student is to secure a research assistantship for the summer following the first academic year.