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Degree Requirements

Master of Science Degree

With Thesis
Required courses:

3 of the following four courses (PHYS 8011, PHYS 8101, PHYS 8102, and PHYS 8201), the scientific presentation course (PHYS 8950), and 13 hours of 6000-level and/or 8000-level PHYS or ASTR courses, of which at least 1 of the courses must be at the 8000 level.

Research requirement: 

A thesis must be written and defended to the student's committee.  During the last semester (usually the graduating semester),  a total of at least 6 hours of PHYS 7000 and PHYS 7300 must be taken.

Without Thesis

This is not a common degree path because most MS students graduate with thesis. Under special circumstances, a student may take this degree path, however, a pre-approval by the graduate coordinator has to be given.

Course requirement : 

The following 5 courses (PHYS 8011, PHYS 8101, PHYS 8102, PHYS 8201, and PHYS 8301), the scientific presentation course (PHYS 8950), 7 hours of 6000-level and/or 8000-level PHYS or ASTR courses (these will constitute the student’s area of concentration), and 2 courses at the 6000-level and/or 8000-level that our outside of the department but are in a related field.

Ph.D. Degree

Required courses:

For the PhD, six core courses (PHYS 8011, 8101, 8102, 8201, 8202, and 8301), the scientific presentation course (PHYS 8950), and 7 hours of graduate level electives in physics, astronomy, or related fields are required. An example of a minimum course taking is : six core courses [18 hours] + PHYS 8950 [2 hours] + electives [7 hours] + PHYS 9000 [3 hours] +PHYS 9300 [3 hours]. However, a student with TA or RA support is required to register for a minimum of 12 hours per each Fall and Spring semester, a student usually registers for enough PHYS9000 credit hours.

Written prelim exam

See Written Prelim Exam for detailed information.

Oral prelim exam

See Oral Prelim Exam for detailed information.

Application for admission for candidacy

The student must file an application for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree after having completed the following:

  1. Program of Study approved by the Advisory Committee and the Dean of the Graduate School.
  2. A GPA of 3.0 or better has been maintained in all graduate courses taken and in all of the "core" courses.
  3. Written and oral comprehensive exams have been passed.
  4. The Graduate School's residency requirement has been met.
  5. Find a professor who agrees to become the student's research advisor.

Application forms may be obtained from the graduate secretary or from the graduate school website.

Grade requirement

For both MS and Ph.D. degrees, a GPA of 3.0 or better has been maintained in all graduate courses taken. No course with grade below 'C' or lower can be used in the Program of Study.

Grads