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Department of Education

Physics Education Track

The Physics Education requirements meld those of Education with those of Physics and Astronomy, including a minimum of ten courses as follows. (Any exceptions or substitutions must be approved by the student's advisory committee.)

Core courses

  • One semester of classical mechanics, Physics 131;
  • One semester of electricity and magnetism, Physics 145;
  • One semester of quantum mechanics, Physics 163;
  • One semester of statistical mechanics, Physics 153.
  • One semester introduction to science education, Education 111;
  • One semester of cognitive development, Education 130;
  • One education foundations course (Group B);
  • One course (2 semesters) of proseminar in education.

Additional courses

  • Two additional graduate-level courses from the student's host department, selected in consultation with the student's advisory committee.

Completion of the course requirements shall satisfy the requirements for a Master's degree, in STEM Education or in Physics & Astronomy, with a transcript notation of "Major Education: Physics Education" or "Major Physics: Physics Education."

Ph.D. students must demonstrate proficiency in classical mechanics, classical electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics, either by achieving grades of A or better in the core physics courses or through special examinations in those fields. Students whose average grade in classical mechanics (131) and classical electromagnetism (145) is at least A (3.67) will be exempt from the examinations in both subjects. Similarly students whose average grade in statistical mechanics (153) and quantum mechanics (163) is at least A (3.67) will be exempt from the examinations in both of those subjects.

Research/Internship Requirement

In addition to coursework, Ph.D. students complete the following requirements:

  • An oral qualifying examination, including topics in physics and in education, ordinarily in the 3rd year following the completion of core courses, and
  • A written dissertation proposal, which they present orally to the program advisory committee, ordinarily in the 4th year, followed by the dissertation.
  • A dissertation, ordinarily in the 5th year.

Graduates will have notations on their transcripts of "Major Education: Physics Education" or "Major Physics: Physics Education," depending on the host department.