Graduate

Ph.D. Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy, Physics Education

  1. Completion of all the requirements for the Master of Science, Physics Education

  2. Demonstrated proficiency in four core fields:
    • 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:
      • 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 in Physics
    The student must complete an oral qualifying examination similar to that required by other physics doctoral students. This is ordinarily completed by the end of the third year.

    Read more about the oral qualifying examination >

  4. Dissertation proposal
    The student must complete a written dissertation proposal and an oral presentation of this proposal to the student's advisory committee. This is ordinarily completed in the fourth year.

  5. Independent research
    After completion of the dissertation proposal, 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.