Texas Tech University

Degree Programs

The department offers study in the following graduate degree programs:

  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Physics
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Physics

Courses

  • Required for all students:
    • PHYS 5101 Seminar (must be taken three times in the first four semesters)
  • Core courses (taken before the preliminary exam):
    • PHYS 5301 Quantum Mechanics I
    • PHYS 5303 Electromagnetic Theory
    • PHYS 5305 Statistical Physics
    • PHYS 5306 Classical Dynamics
  • Additional courses required for Ph.D. students:
    • PHYS 5302 Quantum Mechanics II
    • PHYS 6306 Advanced Electromagnetic Theory
  • Recommended tools courses:
    • PHYS 5307 Methods in Physics I
    • PHYS 5322 Computational Physics
  • Specialized courses in all subfields are available--please see the course catalog for more information

Degree Requirements

A core curriculum consisting of PHYS 5301, PHYS 5303, PHYS 5305, and PHYS 5306 forms the nucleus of the master's and Ph.D. programs and is the basis for the master's examination and the Ph.D. preliminary examination. Full-time study towards the master's degree should be completed in about two years.

All graduate students must enroll in PHYS 5101 for three semesters, as early as possible in the program. PHYS 5307 and PHYS 5322 are tools courses that develop necessary skills for use in other courses and in research. They should be taken early.

M.S. IN PHYSICS, THESIS OPTION
This program requires a minimum of 24 credit hours, of which at least 18 must be taken in the department, plus 6 hours of thesis research. The thesis is defended in a final oral examination.

M.S. IN PHYSICS, EXAM-BASED OPTION
This program requires 36 credit hours with a minimum of 24 hours in the department, plus passing a written and oral master's examination.

M.S. IN PHYSICS, COURSE-BASED OPTION
This program requires 36 credit hours, of which at least 30 must be formal coursework taken in the department, plus passing an oral master's examination.

PH.D. IN PHYSICS
The core courses for the Ph.D. in Physics degree are the same as those for the M.S. degree, plus PHYS 5302 and PHYS 6306. Further selections of advanced courses should be made in consultation with the graduate and research advisor.

Students seeking the Ph.D. degree must pass a preliminary examination and a qualifying examination as described in the departmental Graduate Booklet and in accordance with Graduate School requirements. Examination topics are drawn from general undergraduate physics and graduate core courses. The program requires a Ph.D. dissertation based on original research.

Students are encouraged to get involved in research early by taking PHYS 7000, which may count toward the degree. Thesis hours in PHYS 6000 (6 hours for the M.S. with thesis option) and 12 hours of PHYS 8000 (for the Ph.D.) should be taken as early as possible. Students must maintain a B average in the four core courses in addition to the overall B average required by the Graduate School.

Department of Physics and Astronomy