In the physics department, research is organized into small groups of faculty members, post-doctoral associates, graduate students and undergraduate students working closely on related projects. The principal active areas include experimental and theoretical elementary particle physics, synchrotron radiation physics, accelerator physics, structural and computational biophysics, magnetism and electrodynamics. Classes are generally small and informal, and thesis research is carried out in close collaboration with the faculty adviser.
In recognition of the value of teaching experience in strengthening an individual's understanding of his or her field of study and as an aid in making career decisions, the department requires full-time students to participate in instructional activities. Each new graduate student is assigned a graduate student adviser and must obtain the approval of the adviser each semester before registering for any graduate classes.
A minimum of 84 credit hours is required for the the Doctor of Philosophy degree in physics. Students who have received an M.S. degree from another university may petition for transfer of up to 32 credit hours applicable toward the Ph.D. degree. The requirements for the degree consist of a program of 84 credit hours approved by the faculty advisor; passing the Ph.D. qualifying and comprehensive examinations; and the completion of a research thesis supervised by a faculty member and approved by a thesis committee.
The required coursework includes the following:
|PHYS 501||Methods of Theoretical Physics I||3 Credits|
|PHYS 505||Electromagnetic Theory||3 Credits|
|PHYS 508||Analytical Dynamics||3 Credits|
|PHYS 509||Quantum Theory I||3 Credits|
|PHYS 510||Quantum Theory II||3 Credits|
|PHYS 515||Statistical Mechanics||3 Credits|
|PHYS 585 (or 685)||Physics Colloquium (4 Semesters)||0-4 Credits|
|PHYS 691||Ph.D. Thesis Research||Credit Variable|
and at least three specialized or advanced physics graduate courses chosen from the following:
|PHYS 502||Methods of Theoretical Physics II||3 Credits|
|PHYS 507||Electrodynamics||3 Credits|
|PHYS 533||Group Theory in Physics||3 Credits|
|PHYS 537||Physics of the Solid State I||3 Credits|
|PHYS 538||Physics of the Solid State II||3 Credits|
|PHYS 545||Particle Physics I||3 Credits|
|PHYS 546||Particle Physics II||3 Credits|
|PHYS 553||Quantum Field Theory||3 Credits|
|PHYS 561||Radiation Biophysics||3 Credits|
|PHYS 570||Introduction to Synchrotron Radiation||3 Credits|
The remaining course requirements may be satisfied by additional graduate or advanced undergraduate electives and research. Students are encouraged to participate in faculty research programs and seminars early in their graduate careers. Thesis work may follow from these activities. All research for the dissertation must be carried out under the direct supervision of a faculty research adviser. Students must have passed the written qualifying examination before registering for PHYS 691.