Jun 25, 2024  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 

Physics Ph.D.

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Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the usual admission requirements of the Master of Science program at UNLV. In addition, applicants seeking direct admission to the doctoral program without a previously earned Master of Science degree must have a score in the 65th percentile or above on the Advanced Physics portion of the GRE before admission. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in physics must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 for all undergraduate work or a 3.25 GPA for the last two years of undergraduate work, and a minimum of 18 credits of upper-division physics. Applicants with a master’s degree in physics must have at least 15 credit hours of graduate-level course work in physics with a grade of B or better and a 3.25 GPA in the master’s program.

Degree Requirements

A total of 60 graduate credits past the bachelor’s level, including the following:

1. A Minimum

A minimum of 36 graduate-level semester credits in physics or related fields (excluding doctoral dissertation and graduate seminar), which must include the following core courses:

2. Six Credits

3. A Minimum

4. Satisfactory Performance

On a written qualifying examination on advanced undergraduate physics and a satisfactory score on the GRE Advanced Physics examination. Successful candidates to the doctoral program must have satisfactory scores (generally 50 percent or better) on the GRE Advanced Physics test. Both of these requirements must be fulfilled during the first two years in the graduate program.

5. Disseration

A dissertation of high quality.

6. Satisfactory Performance

On a final examination that will consist of an oral defense of the dissertation.


A student who enters the doctoral program with a master’s degree must satisfy all of the above requirements numbered 1-6. The exact number of graduate semester credit hours past the master’s degree will depend upon the quality of the student’s preparation and the rate of progress during research.

All courses used to satisfy the course work requirement (listed as 1 above) must have the approval of the Department. The number of graduate credits beyond the master’s level must be at least 30 and typically will be more. Each student will have a four-member advisory committee, which will carry out an annual review of the student’s progress.


There are three examinations: 1) a written qualifying examination must be passed. All students entering the Ph.D. program are required to pass a written qualifying examination administered by the department before the completion of the second full year of study. 2) A satisfactory score (generally 50 percent or better) must be achieved on the GRE Advanced Physics test before completion of the second full year of study. 3) A final oral defense of the doctoral thesis must be passed.


The doctoral dissertation reports the results of significant original research, performed independently by the student, written in lucid scientific prose.

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