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Graduate Course Catalog 2016-2017

Graduate School


Physics (PHYS)


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This program is offered in Durham.

Assistant Professor: Shawna M. Hollen, Jiadong Zang


Degrees Offered: M.S., Ph.D.

The Department of Physics offers the degrees of master of science and the doctor of philosophy. Areas of specialization are space physics and astrophysics, experimental nuclear physics, biomedical imaging, theoretical high-energy physics, gravity, and string theory, and the theoretical and experimental physics of solids and nano-materials.


Admission Requirements

Applicants to the master of science and doctor of philosophy programs are expected to have a bachelor's degree in science, with at least 24 credits in physics and closely allied fields. Applicants must submit current scores (within five years) from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Degree Requirements


M.S. Degree Requirements

Five required courses: Experimental Physics 805 (or equivalent demonstrated experimental proficiency), Mathematical Methods of Physics 931, Theoretical Mechanics 939, Electromagnetic Theory 941, Quantum Mechanics 943.  Students are also expected to take two semesters of Physics 806 Introduction to Physics Research & Teaching.

​Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program can receive a master's after completing 15 additional credits of coursework and passing the written comprehensive and the oral qualifying exam.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Eight required core courses: Experimental Physics 805 (or equivalent demonstrated experimental proficiency), Mathematical Methods of Physics 931, Statistical Physics 935, Theoretical Mechanics 939, Electromagnetic Theory 941-42, Quantum Mechanics 943-44, as well as two semesters of Physics 806 Introduction to Physics Research & Teaching, taken during the first year in the program.

Four additional 3+ credit courses of which 2 may be at the 800 level. For Space Science students, students, these courses must include Plasma Physics 951, Magnetohydrodynamics of the Heliosphere 953, and one of Magnetospheres 987, Heliospheric and Galactic Physics 954.

Demonstrate proficiency in teaching.

Passing the written comprehensive exam.

Passing an oral qualifying exam on a thesis proposal.

A minimum of two semesters of Doctoral Research (999).

Passing the oral thesis defense.


Interdisciplinary Research

The department encourages research in areas related to physics or applied physics. If students desire to do research in a field related to physics, special provisions may be made. Contact the department chairperson or graduate adviser for details.