UCR

Department of Physics & Astronomy



Doctoral Degree


Graduate Program - Doctoral Degree Requirements

It is expected that students in the Ph.D. program be associated with a research advisor by the spring quarter of their first year.

A special seminar class PHYS288 is designed to familiarize the student with research activities of the faculty.

A student is recommended for advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree in Physics upon completion of the following requirements:

Comprehensive Examination

Satisfactory performance on the comprehensive examination, before the winter quarter of the student's second year is required. The examination is offered twice each academic year. For students starting in the fall quarter of 2010 or thereafter, the exam is offered for the first time in the middle of the Fall quarter of the second year and a make-up exam is offered at the end of the following fall quarter (about the first week in January). The examination consists of a six-hour written exam (two sessions) that covers topics in Classical Mechanics, Statistical and Thermal Physics; Electromagnetism and Quantum Mechanics at the graduate level for the physics track. For the astronomy track, Quantum Mechanics will be replaced by the first year astronomy classes. Based on the exam performance (written) the department recommends a pass at the Ph.D. level, a pass at the M.A./M.S. level, or a fail. The examination may be repeated only once following the initial attempt.

Coursework

Satisfactory completion of the courses listed below. Each course must be passed with a grade of B- or better and the student must maintain an average for all courses of B or better.

Core Courses:

Physics Track

Phys 210A, 210B, 210C

Electromagnetic Theory

Phys 212A, 212B

Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Phys 221A, 221B, 221C

Quantum Mechanics

Phys 205 Classical Mechanics

Phys 401

Scientific Writing

Phys 288 Current Research Themes in Physics
Astrophysics Track

Phys 210A, 210B, 210C

Electromagnetic Theory

Phys 212A

Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Phys 205 Classical Mechanics
Phys 214 Techniques of Observational Astrophysics
Phys 218 Fundamentals of Astrophysics
Phys 219 Cosmology and Galaxy Formation

Phys 401

Scientific Writing

Phys 288 Current Research Themes in Physics

In addition, at least three elective graduate lecture courses must be completed from the various tracks a-g. The program for each student must be approved by the graduate committee and by the student's research advisor. Such a program may entail more than the minimum number of courses, and may also involve a mixture of courses in addition to those listed below.

Elective Courses:

a.) Nuclear and Particle Physics

Phys 230A, 230B, 230C

Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Phys 225A, 225B

Elementary Particles

b.) Condensed Matter, Surface, Optical Physics & Biophysics

Phys 240A, 240B, 240C

Condensed Matter Physics

Phys 209A, 209B

Introduction to Quantum Electronics

Phys 242

Physics at Surfaces and Interfaces

Phys 234 Physics of Nanoscale Systems
Phys 235 Spintronics and Nanoscale Magnetism
Phys 236 Advanced Imaging Techniques
Phys 241A,B,C Advanced Statistical Physics and Field Theory
Phys 246A,B Biological Physics
Phys 242 Biological Physics
c.) Astrophysics

Phys 211A

Radiative Processes in Astrophysics

Phys 211B

Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics

Phys 208

General Relativity

Phys 213 Astrophysics of the Interstellar Medium
Phys 215 Galactic Dynamics
Phys 216 Star Formation
Phys 217 Stellar Structure and Evolution
d.) Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics

Phys 225A, 225B

Elementary Particles
Phys 230A Advanced Quantum Mechanics
Phys 208 General Relativity
Phys 226 Cosmology
Phys 227 Particle Astrophysics
e) Environmental Physics: Courses chosen from Condensed Matter, Surface and Optical Physics as well as:

SWSC 203

Surface Chemistry of Soils

SWSC 207

Advanced Soil Physics

SWSC 213

Soil Mineralogy

SWSC 221

Transport and Fate of Inorganic Contaminants in Soil-Water Systems

SWSC 222

Transport and Fate of Organic Contaminants in Soil-Water Systems

ENTX 215

Toxicants in Aqueous Media

ENTX 244/Chem 244

Airborne Toxic Chemicals or other approved graduate level courses in related fields.

f.) Materials and Nanoscale Physics:
Two courses from track (b) and two additional approved courses from the departments of Chemistry , Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Electrical Engineering.
g.) Astronomy
Phys 208 General Relativity
Phys 211A Radiative Processes in Astrophysics
Phys 213 Astrophysics of the Interstellar Medium
Phys 215 Galactic Dynamics
Phys 216 Star Formation
Phys 217 Stellar Structure and Evolution
Phys 226 Cosmology

Qualifying Oral Examination

Satisfactory performance on an oral examination in the general area of the student's proposed research.

This examination is conducted by a doctoral committee, charged with general supervision of the student's research. It is normally taken during the academic year following that in which the Comprehensive examination requirement has been successfully completed. A student who fails this examination on the first attempt may, at the discretion of the committee, be permitted to take it a second time. Only two attempts are allowed.

The student is recommended for the Ph.D. degree following their advancement to candidacy and completion of the following requirements:

Doctoral Thesis

Satisfactory completion of a dissertation containing a review of existing knowledge relevant to the candidate's original research, and the results of the candidate's original research. This research must be of sufficiently high quality to constitute a contribution to knowledge in the subject area.

Final Oral Examination

Satisfactory performance on a final oral examination conducted by the candidate's doctoral committee.

The normative time to complete a Ph.D. degree is 15 quarters for theoretical physics; 18 quarters for experimental physics; 17 quarters for specialization in the theory of environmental physics and 20 quarters for specialization in experimental environmental physics.


More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Department Information

Physics & Astronomy
Physics Building

Main Office Tel: (951) 827-5331
Main Office Fax: (951) 827-4529
Maynard, Bonnie; Chair's Assistant, Academic Personnel
E-mail: bonnie.maynard@ucr.edu

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