# Graduate

## Ph.D. Requirements

### Doctor of Philosophy, Physics

**Proficiency in four core fields:**- Classical mechanics
- Classical electromagnetism
- Statistical mechanics
- Quantum mechanics

Students can demonstrate proficiency through:- 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 the following three courses
meets the proficiency requirement for both classical mechanics and classical
electromagnetism:
- PHY 131 - Advanced Classical Mechanics
- PHY 145 - Classical Electromagnetic Theory I
- PHY 146 - Classical Electromagnetic Theory II

- An average combined final grade of A- (3.67) or better in in the following
three courses meets the proficiency requirement for both statistical mechanics
and quantum mechanics:
- PHY 153 - Statistical Mechanics
- PHY 163 - Quantum Theory I
- PHY 164 - Quantum Theory II

- A final grade of A- or better in PHY 131 - Advanced Classical Mechanics meets the proficiency requirement for classical mechanics.
- An average combined final grade of A- or better in PHY 145 - Classical Electromagnetic Theory I and PHY 146 - Classical Electromagnetic Theory II 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.
- An average combined final grade of A- or better in PHY 163 - Quantum Theory I and PHY 146 - Quantum Theory II meets the proficiency requirement for quantum mechanics.

- An average combined final grade of A- or better in the following three courses
meets the proficiency requirement for both classical mechanics and classical
electromagnetism:
- Passing a written qualifying exam in the subject(s).

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

**At least one course from any two of the following specialized fields:**- Astronomy/astrophysics
- AST 121 - Galactic Astronomy
- AST 122 - Extragalactic Astronomy

- Condensed matter physics
- PHY 173 - Solid State Physics I
- PHY 174 - Solid State Physics II

- Particle physics
- PHY 183 - Particle Physics I
- PHY 184 - Particle Physics II

- General relativity and cosmology
- PHY 167 - General Relativity
- PHY 268 - Cosmology

- Advanced quantum mechanics
- PHY 263 - Advanced Quantum Mechanics

- Astronomy/astrophysics
**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 >

**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.