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Degree Options for Current Graduates

Ph. D. in Physics

The following courses are required for this degree:

  1. PHYS 601: Classical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
  2. PHYS 603: Electromagnetic Theory I (3-credit hours)
  3. PHYS 606: Quantum Mechanics I (3-credit hours)
  4. PHYS 607: Statistical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
  5. PHYS 624: Quantum Mechanics II (3-credit hours)
  6. PHYS 615: Methods of Theoretical Physics I (3-credit hours)
  7. PHYS 611: Electromagnetic Theory II (3-credit hours)
  8. Two graduate courses chosen from three distribution electives: astronomy, high energy and/or low energy. Current options are as follows:
    1. Astronomy: Extragalactic (641), Stellar (643), Galactic (645), Radiative Transfer (646)
    2. Low-energy: Atomic Physics/Quantum Optics (648, 649) or Solid State Physics (617, 631, 632)
    3. High-energy: Nuclear Physics (625), Particle Physics (627), Quantum Field Theory (634), Relativity and Cosmology (644)

Ph. D. in Astronomy

Two tracks are available for the Ph. D. in Astronomy. Each track requires:

  1. ASTR 601: Extragalactic Astronomy (3-credit hours)
  2. ASTR 602: Astronomical Observing Techniques and Instrumentation (3-credit hours)
  3. ASTR 603: Stellar Astrophysics (3-credit hours)
  4. ASTR 604: Cosmology (3-credit hours)
  5. ASTR 605: Galactic Astronomy (3-credit hours)
  6. ASTR 606: Radiative Transfer (3-credit hours)
  7. A sufficient number of other elective courses and/or research to make a total of:
    1. 64 hours – with a Master’s Degree
    2. 96 hours – without a Master’s Degree

The Astrophysics track will also require:

  1. PHYS 615: Methods of Theoretical Physics I (3-credit hours)
  2. Any one of the following:
    1. PHYS 601: Classical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
    2. PHYS 603: Electromagnetic Theory I (3-credit hours)
    3. PHYS 606: Quantum Mechanics (3-credit hours)
    4. PHYS 607: Statistical Mechanics (3-credit hours)

The Astrostatistics track will also require:

  1. STAT 630: Overview of Mathematical Statistics (3-credit hours)
  2. Any one of the following:
    1. STAT 624: Databases and Computational Tools Used in Big Data (3-credit hours)
    2. STAT 636: Applied Multivariate Analysis and Statistical Learning (3-credit hours)
    3. STAT 638: Introduction to Applied Bayesian Methods (3-credit hours)
    4. STAT 639: Data Mining and Analysis (3-credit hours)
    5. STAT 654: Statistical Computing with R and Python (3-credit hours)

Ph. D. in Applied Physics

The following courses are required for this degree:

  1. PHYS 601: Classical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
  2. PHYS 603: Electromagnetic Theory I (3-credit hours)
  3. PHYS 606: Quantum Mechanics I (3-credit hours)
  4. PHYS 607: Statistical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
  5. PHYS 615: Methods of Theoretical Physics I (3-credit hours)
  6. One course in Classical or Quantum Physics
  7. Four elective courses chosen in consultation with the student’s committee, except PHYS 666, 685, or undergraduate courses.

Master of Science in Physics: Thesis

The following courses are required for this degree:

  1. PHYS 601: Classical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
  2. PHYS 603: Electromagnetic Theory I (3-credit hours)
  3. PHYS 606: Quantum Mechanics I (3-credit hours)
  4. PHYS 607: Statistical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
  5. PHYS 615: Methods of Theoretical Physics I (3-credit hours)
  6. A maximum of 8 hours of 691 (Research) or 685 (Directed Studies), or a combined amount of 12 hours (i.e. 8 hours of 685 and 4 hours of 691; all MS thesis option degree plans must contain at least one hour of 691.  A maximum of 2 hours of 681 (Seminar).
  7. A sufficient number of credit hours in other courses must be added to the Degree Plan to make a total of 32 credit hours

Note that advanced undergraduate courses or MATH 601 and 602, with a grade of B or better in each may be substituted for one of the graduate courses 601, 603, 606, 607, or 615. If this is done, the student must take one additional graduate level course in physics.


Master of Science in Physics: Non-thesis

Two tracks are available for the M.S in Physics.

The Physics track requires:

  1. PHYS 601: Classical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
  2. PHYS 603: Electromagnetic Theory I (3-credit hours)
  3. PHYS 606: Quantum Mechanics I (3-credit hours)
  4. PHYS 607: Statistical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
  5. PHYS 615: Methods of Theoretical Physics I (3-credit hours)
  6. A maximum of 8 hours of 685 (Directed Studies).  The student normally satisfies this requirement by  working in a research laboratory or on a theoretical project supervised by a tenured or tenure-track faculty member.  This option is highly recommended, although not required.  A written project report is not mandatory for this option, but should be discussed by the student and faculty member when electing this option.  A maximum of 2 hours of 681 (Seminar).
  7. A sufficient number of credit hours in other elective courses must be added to the Degree Plan to make a total of 36 credit hours

The Applied Physics track requires:

  1. PHYS 606: Quantum Mechanics I (3-credit hours)
  2. PHYS 615: Methods of Theoretical Physics I (3-credit hours)
  3. Choose 2:
    1. PHYS 601: Classical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
    2. PHYS 603: Electromagnetic Theory I (3-credit hours)
    3. PHYS 607: Statistical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
  4. Any additional graduate course, not including PHYS 666.
  5. A maximum of 8 hours of 685 (Directed Studies). The student normally satisfies this requirement by working in a research laboratory or on a theoretical project supervised by a tenured or tenure-track faculty member. This option is highly recommended, although not required. A written project report is not mandatory for this option, but should be discussed by the student and faculty member when electing this option. A maximum of 2 hours of 681 (Seminar).
  6. A sufficient number of credit hours in other elective courses must be added to the Degree Plan to make a total of 36 credit hours

Master of Science in Astronomy: Non-thesis

Two tracks are available for the M.S in Astronomy. Each track requires:

  1. ASTR 601: Extragalactic Astronomy (3-credit hours)
  2. ASTR 602: Astronomical Observing Techniques and Instrumentation (3-credit hours)
  3. ASTR 603: Stellar Astrophysics (3-credit hours)
  4. ASTR 604: Cosmology (3-credit hours)
  5. ASTR 605: Galactic Astronomy (3-credit hours)
  6. ASTR 606: Radiative Transfer (3-credit hours)
  7. 6 – 8 hours of ASTR 685 (Directed Studies). The student normally satisfies this requirement by working on an instrumentation, observational or theoretical project supervised by a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in the Astronomy group. A written project report is not mandatory for this option, but should be discussed by the student and faculty member when electing this option. A maximum of 2 hours of ASTR 681 (Seminar).
  8. A sufficient number of other elective courses must be added to the Degree Plan to make a total of 36 hours.

The Astrophysics track also requires:

  1. PHYS 615: Methods of Theoretical Physics I (3-credit hours)
  2. Any one of the following:
    1. PHYS 601: Classical Mechanics (3-credit hours)
    2. PHYS 603: Electromagnetic Theory I (3-credit hours)
    3. PHYS 606: Quantum Mechanics (3-credit hours)
    4. PHYS 607: Statistical Mechanics (3-credit hours)

The Astrostatistics track also requires:

  1. STAT 630: Overview of Mathematical Statistics (3-credit hours)
  2. Any one of the following:
    1. STAT 624: Databases and Computational Tools Used in Big Data (3-credit hours)
    2. STAT 636: Applied Multivariate Analysis and Statistical Learning (3-credit hours)
    3. STAT 638: Introduction to Applied Bayesian Methods (3-credit hours)
    4. STAT 639: Data Mining and Analysis (3-credit hours)
    5. STAT 654: Statistical Computing with R and Python (3-credit hours)