Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Program Hours (90)

The Doctor of Philosophy in Physics program requires 90 credit hours at the graduate level, including a minimum of 24 credit hours of dissertation research. A maximum of 36 credits may be transferred from a completed graduate program with the approval of the Graduate Committee.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in physics (or equivalent field) with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • GRE general exam is required.
  • Students from non-English speaking countries are required to demonstrate proficiency in English. A total score of 80 on the iBT TOEFL or 6.5 overall on the IELTS is required.
  • Applicants should arrange to have at least two letters of recommendation sent to the graduate school as part of the application from individuals qualified to comment on their suitability for enrollment in the program.

Course Requirements

Course Description Credits Year Taken Offered
PHY 5940 Physics Graduate Teaching Workshop † 1 1 Fa
PHY 5115 Mathematical Physics I 3 1 Fa
PHY 5240 Advanced Classical Mechanics 3 1 Fa
PHY 5346 Advanced Electromagentic Theory I 3 1 Fa
PHY 5347 Advanced Electromagentic Theory II 3 1 Sp
PHY 6524 Statistical Physics 3 1 Sp
PHY 6645 Advanced Quantum Mechanics I 3 2 Fa
PHY 6935 Graduate Research Seminar 3 2 and above Fa,Sp
PHY 6646 Advanced Quantum Mechanics II 3 2 Sp
PHY 6936 Advanced Topics 3 2 Fa,Sp
PHY 5xxx,6xxx Electives (related to area of specialization) 9 2 and above Fa, Sp, Sum
PHY 7981 Ph. D. Dissertation 24+ Any Fa, Sp, Sum

This class is required to be taken in the first semester for all new students supported on a teaching assistantship. It is not required for students entering the program on a research assistantship.

Additional requirements

  • Passing the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam. See
  • PHY 6939 Graduate Research. Students generally take 3-9 credits per semester (depending on other courses being taken) until they pass the oral exam.
  • Passing the Ph.D. Oral Exam. The oral exam generally consists of a defense of the student’s proposed dissertation subject in front of the dissertation committee.
  • A minimum of 24 credits of PHY 7981 Ph.D. Dissertation. This is supervised original research in the area of the student’s specialization. Students must have passed the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam and also the Ph.D. oral exam.
  • Some teaching experience is required. This is usually in the form of at least one semester as a teaching assistant although other arrangements can be made.
  • Dissertation Defense. This is done before a committee consisting of the student’s major advisor and three to four other members of the FIU graduate faculty.