Texas Tech University

Degree Programs

The department offers study in the following graduate degree programs: PHYSICS - Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy.

Options in Applied Physics leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are also offered. These interdisciplinary options afford flexibility in course work and area of research concentration. A specialization in chemical physics, in cooperation with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is also available.

You might be interested in our innovative Master of Science Degree with Internship M.S. option.

Courses

  • Required for all students
    • PHYS 5101 Colloquium (at least for the first four semesters)
    • PHYS 5104 Instructional Techniques (whenever on a teaching assistantship)
  • Essential core courses (preparation for qualifier)
    • PHYS 5301 Quantum Mechanics I
    • PHYS 5303 Electromagnetic Theory
    • PHYS 5305 Statistical Physics
    • PHYS 5306 Classical Dynamics
  • Additionally, all Ph.D. students take
    • PHYS 5302 Quantum mechanics II
    • PHYS 6306 Advanced Electromagnetic Theory
  • Tools courses
    • PHYS 5312 Techniques of Graduate Research
    • PHYS 5322 Computational Physics
    • PHYS 5307 Methods in Physics I
  • Specialized courses
    • From all subfields are available

Degree Requirements

A core curriculum consisting of PHYS 5301, 5303, 5305, and 5306 forms the nucleus of the master's and Ph.D. programs and is the basis for the comprehensive master's final examination and the Ph.D. qualifying examination. A student selecting any of the degree options may designate a minor consisting of a minimum of 6 hours of course credit in a related area and satisfy any additional requirements of the minor department. (These 6 hours may be taken in the Physics Department.) Full-time study towards the master's degree typically should be completed in about two years.

M.S. DEGREE IN PHYSICS, THESIS OPTION.
24 hours of course credit with a minimum of 18 hours in the department, plus a master's thesis. The thesis is defended in a final oral examination.

M.S. DEGREE IN PHYSICS WITH CONCENTRATION IN APPLIED PHYSICS, THESIS OPTION.
24 hours of course credit with a minimum of 9 hours in a specified applied area. This may be in a subfield of physics or in a related discipline, with the master's thesis from that area. The thesis is defended in a final oral examination.

M.S. DEGREE IN PHYSICS, NONTHESIS OPTION.
36 hours of course credit with a minimum of 24 hours in the department, plus passing a comprehensive master's final examination. This option is reserved for students in the Ph.D. program.

PH.D. DEGREE IN PHYSICS WITH AN OPTION IN APPLIED PHYSICS.
45 hours of course work in the major beyond the B.S. degree and 15 hours outside the major, plus dissertation research. The 15 hours may be taken partially or entirely in the Physics Department. They also may be counted toward a minor. The student should consult with the graduate advisor and the research advisor about this.

The core courses for the Ph.D. degree are the same as those for the M.S. degree plus PHYS 5302 and 6306. Further selections should be made from specialized courses PHYS 5304, 5307, 5308, 5309, 5310, 5311, 5312, 5322, 6304, 7304, and 5300 (which may be repeated in different topics).

Ph.D. degree students in applied physics normally take the same core courses as above. Other courses in the degree plan are worked out between the student and the graduate advisor in consultation with the research advisor.

All students should get involved in research early by taking PHYS 7000, which may count toward the degree. Thesis hours in PHYS 6000 (6 hours required for the M.S., thesis option) and 8000 (12 hours required for the Ph.D.) should be taken as early as possible and as part of the research.

Students seeking the Ph.D. degree must pass preliminary and qualifying examinations as described in the departmental GRADUATE BOOKLET and in accordance with Graduate School requirements. The examination topics are from general undergraduate physics and from the graduate core courses. After completing the research, the candidate prepares the dissertation and makes an oral defense of it before his or her committee and other interested persons from the University.

Department of Physics and Astronomy