Student Procedures

The document, Procedures, Rules, and Regulations for Graduate Students, Effective Fall 2016, details the procedures and instructions for physics graduate students. This document should be read carefully. Below is a summary of a typical timeline through completion of the Ph.D.


Year 1
Take core courses in Mechanics (Phy 420), Mathematical Methods of Physics (Phy 428), Quantum Mechanics (Phy 369, possibly 362 or 424), Electricity and Magnetism (Phy 421), and Statistical Mechanics (Phy 442).

Summer 1
Research project (Phy 491) June-August.

Year 2
Fall Semester: Electricity and Magnetism (Phy 422), Quantum Mechanics II (424), and up to two elective courses. Many students go to group meetings in the research area they are thinking of working in.

At the beginning of the Spring Semester, students take the Qualifier Exam.

In the Spring Semester, they take elective courses and formally choose a research advisor, start research if there is time, and attend group meetings, as appropriate.

Year 3
Take specialized courses, as appropriate, do preliminary research, and put together a Proposal for Candidacy, which includes a research proposal.

Year 4
Complete the General Exam, take specialized courses, as appropriate, and concentrate on research.

Year 5
Complete the research, publish papers, complete and defend the dissertation.

Students who enter with a Master's Degree, or equivalent course work, take the Qualifying Exam after the first semester and choose a research advisor the next semester and start on research the next summer.