# Physics (Ph.D.)

**Overview**

Modern physics has entered a new era of expanding quantitative understanding of large-scale and multidisciplinary complex systems, impacting science, technology, medicine, and the national economy. The PhD in Physics will provide opportunities for students to obtain a broad background in classical and modern physics. It will specifically train professionals who are able to develop research-based solutions in the areas of gravitational wave astronomy, optical and radio astronomy, optical physics, nanophysics and materials physics, condensed matter physics, high- energy physics, biophysics and biomedical physics.

**Admission Requirements**

The general requirements for graduate admissions at UTRGV Physics PhD program are as follows.

- Awarded a baccalaureate degree or earned a Master's degree from an accredited university (Official transcripts are required).
- An earned GPA of 3.00 or better on a 4.00 scale in the previous finalized programs (undergraduate and/or graduate)
- GRE General test is optional.
- Students whose native language is not English will be expected to provide test scores for either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum scores are: 550 Paper-Based, 79 Internet-Based, IELTS Minimum Score 6.5.
- Two letters of recommendation.

In addition to these requirements, the Doctoral Program in Physics will also require students to have earned a:

- Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in a STEM field, with at least 3 upper division undergraduate core courses in physics from the following:
- Classical Mechanics
- Electricity and Magnetism

- Thermodynamics or Statistical Physics
- Quantum Mechanics

**OR**

- Master's degree (a) in physics or (b) in a related STEM field from an accredited university with at least three undergraduate core classes as given above.Students with a master’s degree in Physics from another institution may apply up to a maximum of 30 course work towards the doctoral degree upon evaluation by the graduate advisor.

Application for admission must be submitted prior to the published deadline. The application is available at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply.

**Satisfactory Academic Progress**

Students must earn a grade of B or better in all program coursework. In addition, in accordance with institutional policy, for degree-seeking doctoral student to remain in good academic standing, the student must maintain a 3.25 grade point average and meet their department's academic progress criteria toward degree completion. The minimum GPA of 3.25 is based on all course work taken regardless of whether the courses are part of the student's degree plan. A student who receives a grade of C or lower in 9 semester hours of credit attempted toward the doctoral degree, regardless of the student's classification, whether or not in repeated courses, is ineligible for any advanced degree and will not be permitted to re-enroll. A doctoral student whose overall GPA falls below 3.25 in a given semester is automatically placed on academic probation the following semester. Within the following nine semester credit hours, the overall GPA must return to 3.25 for doctoral students or the student will be suspended for a minimum of one semester. A student who receives an F in any course is automatically dismissed from the graduate program. A suspended graduate student may petition for readmission.

**Milestones for the Ph.D. in Physics program:**

- Completion of 27 SCHs of required graduate coursework for students admitted with BS degrees. Purpose: Develop fundamental knowledge in Physics. TimeLine: 1.5 years.
- Pass Comprehensive Examination (only if GPA is less than 3.30/4.00). Purpose: Test fundamental knowledge in Physics. Timeline: within one semester after completing the above step.
- Completion of 6 SCHs of elective graduate coursework for students admitted with BS degrees. Purpose: Develop specialized knowledge in Physics. TimeLine: 1.5 years.
- Pass Ph.D. Candidacy Examination. Purpose: Test capability to initiate original research in Physics. Timeline: within one semester after completing the above step.
- Defend Ph.D. Dissertation. Purpose: Test capability to present original research. Timeline: 1-1.5 years after completing the above step.

**Program Requirements for Students with a ****Bachelor's Degree**

Required courses - 27 Hours

Prescribed Electives - 6 Hours

Graduate Research - 9 Hours

Advanced Doctoral Courses - 3 Hours

Doctoral Research - 15 Hours

Post-candidacy/Dissertation - 15 Hours

**Program Requirements for Students with a ****Master's Degree in Physics**

Required courses - 15 Hours

Prescribed Electives - 6 Hours

Graduate Research - 9 Hours

Advanced Doctoral Courses - 3 Hours

Doctoral Research - 15 Hours

Post-candidacy/Dissertation - 15 Hours

## Program Requirements

### Core Courses - 27 Hours

Students with comparable prior master level course work in Physics may have their transcripts evaluated to determine if credit may be reduced from the students plan of study: however, students must complete a minimum of 15 hours of required courses. These 15 hours will be determined by the graduate advisor.

PHYS 5310 | Classical Mechanics I | 3 |

PHYS 5320 | Electrodynamics I | 3 |

PHYS 5330 | Statistical Mechanics | 3 |

PHYS 5340 | Quantum Mechanics I | 3 |

PHYS 6330 | Quantum Mechanics II | 3 |

PHYS 6350 | Mathematical Physics I | 3 |

PHYS 6352 | Computational Physics | 3 |

PHYS 8312 | Teaching and Mentoring Undergraduates | 3 |

PHYS 8320 | Electrodynamics II | 3 |

### Prescribed Electives - 6 Hours

#### Choose one of the following:

PHYS 5360 | Optics | 3 |

PHYS 5375 | Structure and Function of Biological Molecules | 3 |

PHYS 5393 | Introduction to General Relativity and Gravitation | 3 |

PHYS 6331 | Solid State Physics | 3 |

PHYS 6351 | Mathematical Physics II | 3 |

#### Choose one of the following:

PHYS 5387 | Special Topics in Physics | 3 |

PHYS 5392 | Gravitational Wave Astronomy | 3 |

PHYS 5394 | Advanced Statistical Methods for Modern Astronomy | 3 |

PHYS 6362 | Quantum Optics | 3 |

PHYS 6364 | Nanophotonics: Materials and Devices | 3 |

PHYS 6371 | Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Biological Systems | 3 |

PHYS 6381 | Introduction to Astrophysics | 3 |

### Graduate Research - 9 Hours

PHYS 6396 | Graduate Research I | 3 |

*PHYS 6396 must be taken 3 times. *

### Advanced Doctoral - 3 Hours

Choose one of the following:

PHYS 8331 | Advanced Solid State Physics | 3 |

PHYS 8351 | Advanced Mathematical Physics | 3 |

PHYS 8352 | Advanced Computational Physics | 3 |

PHYS 8360 | Advanced Optics | 3 |

PHYS 8364 | Advanced Nano-photonics Materials and Devices | 3 |

PHYS 8371 | Advanced Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Biological Systems | 3 |

PHYS 8373 | Advanced Statistical Physics of Molecular Cell Biology | 3 |

PHYS 8375 | Advanced Structure and Function of Biological Molecules | 3 |

PHYS 8381 | Advanced Astrophysics | 3 |

PHYS 8387 | Special Topics in Advanced Physics | 3 |

PHYS 8392 | Advanced Gravitational Wave Astronomy | 3 |

PHYS 8393 | Advanced General Relativity and Gravitation | 3 |

PHYS 8394 | Advanced Statistical Methods for Modern Astronomy II | 3 |

### Post-candidacy/Dissertation - 30 Hours

PHYS 8398 | Doctoral Research | 3 |

PHYS 9301 | Dissertation I | 3 |

PHYS 9302 | Dissertation II | 3 |

Total Credit Hours: 63