Graduate Catalog 2013-2014
Catalog Header
Print Page
Email this Page to a Friend
Highlights new content for catalog year.:on | off
Reset text size to normal Increase text size to large Increase text size to largest
Search

Physics PhD

 Hide Hide preferences menu.

College : Sciences Degree :PHD
Department : Physics Option : Dissertation
Program Websites : http://www.physics.ucf.edu/

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Physics doctoral program offers research opportunities in condensed matter physics, physics of nanostructured devices, surface science, optical physics, complex systems, biophysics, atomic and molecular physics, and planetary/space science.
Read less or more information

CURRICULUM

The Physics PhD program requires a total of 72 credit hours for completion. A specific set of six required core courses (18 credit hours), thirteen elective courses (39 credit hours), and a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation are part of the 72 hours. Of the 39 credit hours, 9 credit hours must be formal courses and 3 credit hours must be in a methods course selected from a list approved by the Physics department (see below). The remaining 27 credit hours need to be a combination of directed research, other electives, and/or dissertation. Courses must be selected so that at least one-half of the required 72 hours are taken at the 6000 level.
Total Credit Hours Required:
72 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree
42 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Master's Degree

Required Core Courses—18 Credit Hours

All students are required to take the following core courses. For all core courses there will be weekly recitations.

  • PHY 5606 Quantum Mechanics I (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 6624 Quantum Mechanics II (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 5346 Electrodynamics I (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 6347 Electrodynamics II (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 5524 Statistical Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 6246 Classical Mechanics (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—39 Credit Hours

Elective and research courses are determined by the student's chosen specialization as listed below. Of the 39 credit hours, 9 credit hours must be from formal courses and 3 credit hours must be in a methods course approved by the department. The remaining 27 credit hours can consist of any combination of courses.  

Formal Courses—9 Credit Hours

Students must complete three formal courses (9 credit hours) from the specialization coursework listed below.

Methods Course—3 Credit Hours

Students must complete one methods course (3 credit hours) from the following list:

  • PHY 5846C Methods of Experimental Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 5156 Computational Physics (3 credit hours)
  • AST 5765C Advanced Astronomical Data Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 5937 Nano-Electronics (3 credit hours)

Remaining Electives—27 Credit Hours

Students must complete 27 credit hours of unrestricted electives, which may consist of formal courses, research, and/or dissertation hours. Students should consult with their adviser about selections for the remaining unrestricted electives.

General Physics Specialization

The General Physics Specialization emphasizes strong preparation in physics fundamentals. It is intended to prepare students for careers in theoretical physics teaching at the college level. A number of active research programs exist in the department to accommodate such students.

 Recommended Courses

  • PHY 6673 Advanced Quantum Mechanics (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 5933 Selected Topics in Biophysics and Macromolecules
  • PHZ 5156 Computational Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 5846C Methods of Experimental Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 5405 Introduction to Condensed Matter Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 6426 Condensed Matter Physics I (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 6428 Condensed Matter Physics II (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 6667 Quantum Field Theory I (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 7669 Quantum Field Theory II (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 5505 Plasma Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 5650 Introduction to Quantum Computation (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 5304 Nuclear and Particle Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 6234 Atomic Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 6420 First Principles Computational Methods in Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 6600C Theory and Computation of Molecular Wave Functions (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 6938 Selected Topics in Scattering Theory (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 5312 Fundamentals of Optical Science (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 6347 Quantum Optics (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 7919 Directed Research
  • Other courses from Physics, Math, Optics, Materials Science, Engineering require approval by the student's adviser and the graduate program director.

Condensed Matter Physics Specialization

The Condensed Matter Physics Specialization is intended to prepare students for careers in materials physics, nanoscale science and technology, semiconductors, and soft condensed matter physics. It emphasizes strong experimental preparation with hands-on courses in advanced materials characterization and processing instrumentation. Related research programs at UCF include magnetic nanostructures, soft condensed matter, electronic and optoelectronic devices, and nanoscale characterization.

Recommended Courses
  • PHZ 5405 Introduction to Condensed Matter Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 6426 Condensed Matter Physics I (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 6428 Condensed Matter Physics II (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 5156 Computational Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 5846C Methods of Experimental Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 6420 First Principles Computational Methods in Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 5437 Nanoscale Surface Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHZ 5432 Introduction to Soft Condensed Matter Physics (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 5933 Selected Topics in Biophysics of Macromolecules (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 5650 Introduction to Quantum Computation (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 6667 Quantum Field Theory I (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 7669 Quantum Field Theory II (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 6938 Theory and Computation of Molecular Wave Functions (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 6938 Selected Topics in Scattering Theory (3 credit hours)
  • Two "studio lab" courses: PHY 5140C Ion-solid interactions (3 credit hours) and PHZ 5425C Electron Solid Interactions (3 credit hours)
  • One approved elective selected from Materials Science, Physics, Optical Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Industrial Chemistry

Optical Physics Specialization

The Optics Specialization coordinator is David Hagan, PhD, College of Optics and Photonics. Students are recommended to take at least one of the following courses.

  • OSE 6111 Optical Wave propagation (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 6115 Interference and Diffraction (3 credit hours)

Select at least one of the following laboratory courses.

  • OSE 6526C Laser Engineering Laboratory (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 6455C Photonics Laboratory (3 credit hours)

The remaining courses (up to three) may be selected from other graduate courses in Optics (see www.creol.ucf.edu).

Dissertation—15 Credit Hours Minimum

  • PHY 7980 Dissertation Research  (15 credit hours minimum)

All students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation prepared in consultation with a dissertation adviser. A fifteen-page written proposal is presented orally to the student’s dissertation committee within one year after the written candidacy exam. The final oral defense of the dissertation is administered by the student’s dissertation committee following completion of a written dissertation describing the student’s research.

Seminar Attendance

Students in their fourth semester and beyond will be required to attend a major fraction of seminars and colloquia hosted by the Physics Department, as well as to make an annual presentation of their research work or independent study.

Examinations

Placement Exam—All incoming PhD students in Physics will be required to take a placement exam covering topics in Quantum Mechanics, Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, and Thermodynamics at the undergraduate level.

Candidacy Exam—The candidacy exam consists of two parts.

Part 1 is a written exam covering the material of the core courses. It should be taken immediately after the core courses have been completed.  After passing the written exam, the student should identify a research supervisor and a dissertation committee must be put in place with the approval of the graduate program director. Students are only allowed two attempts at passing the written part of the candidacy exam.

Part 2 is an oral exam that combines an examination of the student's command of Physics and a written dissertation proposal. The oral exam should be taken no later than one year after the written exam has been satisfied.

Admission to Candidacy

The following are required to obtain candidacy status and enroll in dissertation hours: 

  • Completion of 51 credit hours to include all required core courses, formal course work and at least 21 credit hours of remaining electives.  (Dissertation hours are not included)  
  • Successful completion of both part I (written exam) and part II (oral exam) of the candidacy exam.   
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of a chair, approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.  
  • Submittal of an approved program of study. 

INDEPENDENT LEARNING

The Physics PhD program requires a doctoral dissertation. This will provide ample opportunities for students to gain independent learning experience through studying published research papers, conducting research and presenting their results in conferences and in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
  • The Physics Subject Test of the GRE is recommended, but not required.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of goals.
  • Résumé.
  • Applicants to this program are strongly encouraged to complete the necessary information requested for the ETS PPI (Personal Potential Index) report that is available during the GRE examination.  All official PPI reports must be submitted directly to the UCF College of Graduate Studies (use UCF Institution Code: 5233).

Students entering the Physics graduate program with regular status are normally expected to have completed course work generally required for a bachelor’s degree in physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermal and statistical physics, and quantum mechanics.

Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant's abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant's career/academic goals, and the applicant's potential for completing the degree.

Application Deadlines

Physics PhD Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15Jun 15Nov 1

-

International Applicants Jan 15Jan 15Jul 1

-

International Transfer Applicants Jan 15Mar 1Sep 1

-

FINANCIALS

Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website,  which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.

Fellowships

Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship. 


top