Below is a Summary, adapted from Table 1.2 of the Graduate Handbook, that pertains to the policies governing our Ph.D. program. See the Graduate Handbook for further information, or for information on the M.Sc. program.
| Total Credits Required |
(not including thesis credits)
|40, including eight credits from 8000-level classes, and two credits from research seminars|
|Thesis Credits Required|| 24, should be taken after passing the preliminary oral exam, even if it’s with a reservation, within two semesters.
Check with office if student wants to take thesis credits in the Summer (complex)
|Required core courses||5001 and 5002, 5011 and 5012, 5201, 5980 (Intro. to Research seminar) and 5072 for TAs (unless equivalent courses have been taken at another institution and they are approved by the DGS as valid substitution)|
|Minimum GPA||3.3 in the five required core courses (classical 1/2, quantum 1/2, and statistical mechanics). 3.0 overall GPA is required by the University for graduation. Only grades of B- and above count for credit in any graduate course|
|Graduate Written Exam||Pass in the Spring of the fist year. A second attempt in the second year is conditional on prior completion of all credits and other requirements for a M.Sc. Plan A or B|
|Graduate Degree Plan||File before scheduling the Preliminary Oral Exam (by a few weeks)|
|Preliminary Oral Exam||Pass by the end of the third year. Petition for extension is possible. To petition, the student must write a letter to the DGS, endorsed by the adviser|
|Adviser of record||Students must have an adviser of record at all times after passing the Preliminary Oral Exam. Students can update their advisor with the office, and should do so as soon as any changes occur|
|Annual Progress Report||Must be completed annually by the student and endorsed by the adviser. Student will not be appointed until both portions have been completed and approved|
|Time limits||Must complete the degree and have the degree awarded within 8 calendar years. All semesters including those registered for GRAD999 count towards this limit|
|Transfer credits||No limit, must be approved by DGS|
|Preliminary and Final Oral Committee||4 members: 3 from major field (adviser plus an experimentalist and a theorist in the same subfield of physics) and 1 with an appointment outside physics. The adviser cannot chair the committee|
|Thesis review and scheduling||Thesis should be submitted to the committee members (including reviewers) at least two weeks prior the defense date. Scheduling is the responsibility of the student|
A standard 50% appointment results in a 100% tuition waiver, which covers up to 14 semester credits. Students must enroll in 6-14 credits to receive full waiver benefits. There is no extra benefit for an appointment greater than 50%. Students should not register for more than 14 credits in a semester unless they are prepared to pay the extra charges.
Once a student passes their preliminary oral exam, he/she must take 24 thesis credits in two semesters. Once this requirement is completed, the student reaches “All But Dissertation” (ABD) status.
A student who has achieved ABD status only needs to register for 1 credit per semester to maintain graduate status. Such students should register for Physics 8444 to facilitate student loan deferment and, for international students, visa requirements. Please be aware, that students that defend and terminate employment before the end of a semester may receive a partial tuition bill.
Starting in Summer 2017, students should not register for classes in the Summer Term, including ABD students. Students should understand that they will have Social Security and Medicare taxes taken out of the paychecks, so their net pay might go down. This does not affect fellowship students or international students.
One exception is Research Assistants that need the 24 thesis credits to get them to ABD status. With prior approval by the Physics Payroll Office, and if the student’s adviser agrees to pay the extra cost in the summer, taking half of those thesis credits in the summer is usually a favorable financial option. For example, the cost in the Summer for a full course load was \$4,924 (FY17 rate) vs. \$8,635 in the Fall (FY18 rate). ABD student tuition in the Fall was \$1,400.