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Physics and Astronomy

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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). In addition, 5 more PHYS or ASTR courses must be taken at the 6000 or 8000 level (At least, one of these 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 : 

For this degree, following 5 courses must be taken: PHYS 8011, PHYS 8101, PHYS 8102, PHYS 8201, and PHYS 8301.  In addition, 3 more PHYS or ASTR courses must be taken at the 6000 or 8000 level and will constitute the student's area of concentration.  Finally, 2 more courses must be taken at the 6000 or 8000 level outside the department but in a related field.

Ph.D. Degree

Required courses:

Six core courses are required for the Ph.D. degree and they are PHYS 8011, PHYS 8101 & 8102, PHYS 8201 & 8202, and PHYS 8301. In addition to these six core courses, three elective courses need to be taken. An example of a minimum course taking is : six core courses [18 hours]+ three electives [9 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