- Course Requirements: Students must complete a minimum of 37 credit hours in physics or astronomy at the 600 or 700 level (or approved courses from other departments relevant to the program of study).
- Calculation of the GPA: Students must maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.75, and 3.0 or better in graduate physics or astronomy courses taken at WVU.
- Research Requirement: Research is the central focus of the degree and is directed by a faculty adviser over a period of several years. When the research is completed, the student must write a dissertation and defend it before the doctoral committee of four faculty. The average completion time for the Ph.D. is five years beyond the B.S. Research specialties within the department include astrophysics/astronomy, biophysics, condensed matter physics, physics education research, and plasma physics.
- Candidacy Examinations: To be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D., a student must pass both a written and an oral candidacy examination. The written examination consists of three parts: quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, and classical mechanics.
- Oral Exam: the student needs to pass an oral exam no later than 3.5 years after admission. This Oral presentation is typically 45 minutes in length and it is a presentation of a research paper selected by the advisor and the student. The exam is open to the public. Following the presentation and questions from the general public, the advisor and the Ph.D. committee ask questions to the student related to his/her paper understanding and the background required. Next, the student is excused and the Committee makes an overall decision on the Exam.
- Progress Toward Completion: Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better in graduate physics and astronomy courses taken at WVU. Students must pass all three graduate qualifying exams by the end of their fourth semester. All students are evaluated annually before the end of September by their Ph.D. committee or the Graduate Studies committee.
|Introduction to Mathematical Physics|
|Advanced Classical Mechanics 1|
|Quantum Mechanics 1|
Select one of the following:
|Quantum Mechanics 2|
Select five ASTR or PHYS courses at the 600 or 700 level. **
Graduate courses from other departments may be substituted with approval from the Graduate Studies committee.
These requirements can be fulfilled through alternate means through discussion with an advisor.
Major Learning Outcomes
The central missions of the Graduate Program in Physics are to train the next generation of Physicists and Astronomers for productive careers in the global economy, to provide the ability to students that will allow them to master the fundamental knowledge of physics, to provide the experience to conduct independent research, and to expand the scientific boundaries of physics and astronomy.
Students earning a Ph.D. in Physics will be able to:
- Explain physics and astronomy principles as they pertain to their specific field of research.
- Demonstrate the ability to understand and critically evaluate the existing literature published within their field.
- Understand the ethical impact of personal and professional behavior.
- Independently design and execute new experimental, theoretical, or computational studies that can address important scientific questions in physics and astronomy.
- Effectively communicate their research in oral and written formats, including the ability to author manuscripts suitable for publication in peer reviewed scientific journals.