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    Jun 21, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
    
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, PhD


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The Doctor of Philosophy degree represents the attainment of a high level of scholarship and achievement in independent research. To be granted a PhD with a major in physics, a graduate student admitted to the physics PhD program must achieve the following: (1) admission to candidacy for the PhD, and (2) approval for the granting of the PhD.

Admission to candidacy

Admission to candidacy for the PhD with a major in physics involves a two-part qualification process. In the first part, the student must demonstrate proficiency in the core areas of physics; in the second, the student must complete required advanced course work, and demonstrate preparedness for conducting independent research toward the dissertation.

Physics core courses


Students who take the following six core courses at UNT and earn a grade of A in at least three of these courses and a grade of B in the rest will automatically satisfy the first part of the qualification process:

Alternative requirements for students with a master’s degree


A student who enrolls at UNT with a master’s degree in physics from another institution may meet this requirement by completing the courses below, and attaining a grade of A in at least two of the courses and a minimum grade of B in the remainder.

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  • Alternatively, any student may satisfy this part of the qualification process by earning a minimum grade of B in the six core courses or their equivalent and by passing a comprehensive examination over the core areas of physics, to be scheduled and administered by the departmental examination committee. Course duplications are allowed, as described elsewhere in this catalog. If a course is repeated, the last grade recorded will be considered by the department in determining whether the student has passed this part of the qualification process. To be considered for departmental assistantships, a student must pass this part of the qualification process after no more than three years of full-time graduate study if entering the program with only a bachelor’s degree in physics, and after no more than one year of full-time study if entering the program with a master’s degree in physics.

Preparation for independent research


There are several aspects to this part of the qualification process. First, the student must select a major professor and a doctoral advisory committee. A major professor provides close guidance and supervision of the student’s doctoral studies. The doctoral advisory committee is selected by the student in consultation with the major professor and must include the major professor. Second, the student must file a degree plan, which must be approved by the doctoral advisory committee and the graduate advisor. Third, the student must complete organized course work required by the degree plan and earn a minimum grade of B in each course. Fourth, after the student and major professor have decided upon a dissertation research project for the student, the student must present a proposal for the research to the doctoral advisory committee. This proposal must be in the form of both a written report and an oral presentation to the doctoral advisory committee. At least 7 days prior to the oral presentation, the student must provide each member of his or her doctoral advisory committee with a copy of the report. The report and the oral presentation to the doctoral advisory committee must include both a description of the research already done and a proposal of research for completing the dissertation. The doctoral advisory committee will administer an oral examination at the end of the oral presentation over the proposal and related topics. The doctoral advisory committee must approve of the admission to candidacy for the PhD degree before the student applies for candidacy at the Toulouse Graduate School.

To be considered for departmental assistantships, a student must pass this part of the qualification process after no more than four years of full-time graduate study if entering the program with a bachelor’s degree in physics, and after no more than three years of full-time study if entering the program with a master’s degree in physics.

Approval of granting the PhD


Approval of granting the PhD degree in physics requires demonstration of professional research aptitude. Professional research aptitude must be demonstrated by conducting independent research under the overall supervision of the major professor and reporting the research in at least one peer-reviewed professional journal article of which the student is the first author, in a dissertation and in an oral presentation to the doctoral advisory committee known as the final defense. The appropriateness of the journal publication(s) must be evaluated by the committee. At least 30 days prior to the scheduled final defense, the student must provide each member of his or her doctoral advisory committee with a copy of his or her completed dissertation and a copy of the requisite journal article(s), which must be either already published or accepted for publication—in the latter case, copies of the letter(s) of acceptance for publication must be included. The doctoral advisory committee must approve the granting of the PhD degree before the student may submit the dissertation to the graduate dean for final approval.

To be considered for departmental assistantships, a student must not exceed six years of full-time graduate study if entering the program with only a bachelor’s degree in physics, and five years of full-time study if entering the program with a master’s degree in physics.

Additional requirements


Seminar in current literature or colloquium

All physics PhD students must attend Department of Physics colloquium each week during each long term/semester of full-time graduate study. As part of this requirement all full-time students, except those enrolled only in PHYS 6950 , must enroll in PHYS 5941  each long term/semester.

Examinations

An entrance interview concerning fundamental physics is required of all students. The results are used for advisory, placement and remedial purposes.

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