Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics

This program is for superior students in applied physics who are interested in and committed to scholarly research.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are expected to have a master's degree in physics, applied physics, or related engineering disciplines from an accredited institution. Highly qualified students with bachelor's degrees may be accepted directly into the doctoral program. A GPA of at least 3.5 in undergraduate and previous graduate studies is normally required for admission. The GRE (general test) and advanced (physics) test scores are required. Applicants are required to provide three letters of recommendation from their previous academic institutions. Students for whom English is not their native language are required to have TOEFL scores no lower than 550.

Degree Requirements

For students entering with BS or BA degrees, the PhD requires 75 (600 or 700 level) credits as follows:

  • 39 credits of course work, of which 24 credits are physics courses (including 3 credits of mathematical physics or applied mathematics) and 15 credits are electives. No less than 12 credits must be at the 700 level.
  • and 36 credits of  Phys 790/26:755:790 (Doctoral Dissertation)

For students entering with MS or MA degrees, the PhD requires 54 (above 600 level) credits as follows:

  • 18 credits of course work, of which 9 credits are physics courses (including mathematical physics or applied mathematics), and 9 credits are electives. No less than 12 credits must be at the 700 level.
  • and 36 credits of  Phys 790/26:755:790 (Doctoral Dissertation)


All doctoral students must enroll, in Phys 791/26:755:791 Applied Physics Seminar each semester, including each semester they are enrolled in Phys 790/26:755:790 Doctoral Dissertation.


  • Advanced Classical Mechanics (Phys 611/26:755:611) 3.0
  • Classical Electrodynamics (Phys 621/26:755:621) 3.0
  • Quantum Mechanics (Phys 631/26:755:631) 3.0
  • Statistical Mechanics (Phys 641/26:755:641) 3.0
  • Classical Electrodynamics II (Phys 721/26:755:721) 3.0
  • Quantum Mechanics II (Phys 731/26:755:731) 3.0

Qualifying Examination and Research Examination

The student must pass a written qualifying examination and oral research examination. The written qualifying examination is administered yearly to test general academic preparation and competence for research in applied physics. Within one year after passing the written qualifying examination, the student is required to pass the oral qualifying examination to achieve PhD candidacy, in which the prospective PhD candidate presents a preliminary research proposal for approval by the dissertation committee. The student will be allowed two attempts to pass the written or oral qualifying examination.

Dissertation and Defense

An oral presentation and defense of the doctoral dissertation is required. A five-member committee, chaired by the dissertation advisor, must approve the content and presentation of the dissertation research.