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About Written Exams & Degree Requirements

Written candidacy exams must be attempted by the end of the first year, meaning the summer exam session in June/July. Students will be preparing for these exams during May and June. A short retake session is offered in October. Written exams must be successfully completed by the end of the second year of graduate study for the student to be in compliance with departmental policies in satisfaction of the Basic requirement.

To satisfy the Advanced requirement, students need to take a minimum of a one-quarter course in six of the eight categories listed based on the student's interests. The proposed course list must be approved by the faculty option representative.

The requirements for admission into PhD candidacy are two terms of Ph 242 Physics Seminar, both written exams and the advanced physics course requirements successfully completed by the end of second year.

The requirements for the PhD include passing the oral candidacy exam by the end of the third year, and a completed course program and thesis by the end of fifth year, or beyond with department and Institute approval. For a detailed description of the written exam and course requirements, please review the information on completing the Physics Graduate Program as well as the timeline for completing graduation requirements.