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    May 26, 2024  
2011-2012 Graduate Catalog 
    
2011-2012 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 for the PhD

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.

Demonstration of proficiency in the core areas of physics:


Students who take these 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 this part of the qualification process.

The student must complete the following six core courses or their equivalents:

Additional Requirements:


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, 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. A student should 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 of 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. These two things should be done before or very shortly after satisfying the first part of the qualifying process. 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. 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. Course work recommendations associated with specific concentrations are available. Please inquire with the graduate advisor. The following courses are recommended for all students:

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 research 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 should 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.

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