Dec 04, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Doctor of Philosophy - Physics


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Plan Description


The purpose of the Physics M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are to prepare students for a career in Physics Research or in education at the university level. The program achieves this with a custom program for each student set up by their advisor and their advising committee. In the case of Ph.D. the students will be able to conduct these steps independently.

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes, please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

  1. 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.
  2. Applicants with a master’s degree in physics must have at least 15 credits of graduate-level course work in physics with a grade of B or better and a 3.25 GPA in the master’s program.
  3. All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Plan Requirements


 See Subplan Requirements below.

Subplan 1: Post-Bachelor’s
Subplan 2: Post-Master’s

Subplan 1 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s


Total Credits Required: 60

Course Requirements


Elective Courses – Credits: 18


Complete 18 credits of 600- or 700-level AST or PHYS courses, or other advisor-approved courses.

Graduate Seminar Course – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits of the following, including three acceptable presentations.

Dissertation – Credits: 18


Degree Requirements


  1. Students must complete a minimum of 60 credits.
  2. A minimum grade of B- is required in each course. An overall GPA of 3.00 or better is required on all course work that is part of the degree program.
  3. In consultation with their advisor, a student will organize a thesis committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  4. Each student’s advisory committee will carry out an annual review of the student’s progress.
  5. Course work taken outside the Physics & Astronomy Department must have departmental approval.
  6. Satisfactory performance on a written qualifying examination on advanced undergraduate physics must be fulfilled during the first two years in the graduate program. Students who fail to pass the exam within the specified timeline will be placed on academic probation and will be allowed one retake of the exam. Failure to pass the retake or meet the requirements of academic probation will result in separation.
  7. A dissertation of high quality. The doctoral dissertation reports the results of significant original research, performed independently by the student, written in lucid scientific prose.
  8. Satisfactory performance on a final examination that will consist of an oral defense of the dissertation.

Subplan 2 Requirements: Post-Master’s


Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements


Graduate Seminar Course – Credits: 0-6


Complete 0-6 credits of the following, including three acceptable presentations.

Dissertation – Credits: 18


Degree Requirements


  1. Students must take an advisor approved combination of the coursework listed above, completing a minimum of 30 credits. Additional credits may be required to address student deficiencies or build specialized expertise.
  2. The total number of Required Courses and Graduate Seminar Courses will be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor.
  3. A minimum grade of B- is required in each course. An overall GPA of 3.00 or better is required on all course work that is part of the degree program.
  4. In consultation with their advisor, a student will organize a thesis committee of at least three departmental members. In addition, a fourth member from outside the department, known as the Graduate College Representative, must be appointed. An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  5. Each student’s advisory committee will carry out an annual review of the student’s progress.
  6. Course work taken outside the Physics & Astronomy Department must have departmental approval.
  7. Satisfactory performance on a written qualifying examination on advanced undergraduate physics must be fulfilled during the first two years in the graduate program. Students who fail to pass the exam within the specified timeline will be placed on academic probation and will be allowed one retake of the exam. Failure to pass the retake or meet the requirements of academic probation will result in separation.
  8. A dissertation of high quality. The doctoral dissertation reports the results of significant original research, performed independently by the student, written in lucid scientific prose.
  9. Satisfactory performance on a final examination that will consist of an oral defense of the dissertation.

Plan Graduation Requirements


The student must submit and successfully defend their dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.

After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Students may apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing their degree requirements. All required forms must be submitted to the graduate college via the Grad Rebel Gateway.

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