Graduate

Ph.D. Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy, Astrophysics

  1. Completion of all the requirements for the Master of Science, Astrophysics

  2. Demonstrated proficiency in five core fields:
    • Astronomy
    • Classical mechanics
    • Classical electromagnetism
    • Statistical mechanics
    • Quantum mechanics


    Students can demonstrate proficiency through:

    1. passing the relevant course(s) with final grades or average final grades of A- (3.67) or better as described below:
      • An average combined final grade of A- or better in AST 121 - Galactic Astronomy and AST 122 - Extragalactic Astronomy meets the proficiency requirements for astronomy.
      • A final grade of A- or better in PHY 131 - Advanced Classical Mechanics meets the proficiency requirement for classical mechanics.
      • A final grade of A- or better in PHY 145 - Classical Electromagnetic Theory I meets the proficiency requirement for classical electromagnetism.
      • A final grade of A- or better in PHY 153 - Statistical Mechanics meets the proficiency requirement for statistical mechanics.
      • A final grade of A- or better in PHY 163 - Quantum Theory I meets the proficiency requirement for quantum mechanics.
      • An average combined final grade of A- or better in PHY 131 - Classical Mechanics and PHY 145 - Classical electromagnetic Theory I meets the proficiency requirements for both classical mechanics and classical electromagnetism.
      • An average combined final grade of A- or better in PHY 153 - Statistical Mechanics and PHY 163 - Quantum Theory I meets the proficiency requirements for both statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics.
    2. Passing a written qualifying exam in the subject(s).

    Assessment for proficiency in the core courses for first year students (policy)

  3. Oral qualifying examination
    By the end of the third year, the student must complete an oral qualifying examination in his/her chosen specialized field.

    Read more about the oral qualifying examination >

  4. Independent research
    After satisfactory performance on the oral qualifying exam, the candidate undertakes a program of independent research under the guidance of their research advisor, culminating in the preparation and defense of a doctoral dissertation. Students must register for one credit of PHY 0297 - Graduate Research and one credit of PHY 0298 - Graduate Research in their final two semesters of the program.