The program is open for admission to students who satisfy the general criteria for admission to the School of Graduate Studies and who also meet the departmental requirements for admission to the graduate program in the specialization of choice. The admission to the doctoral program requires a Master's degree in physics or any field of physical sciences or engineering or a closely related field. An undergraduate physics major with a GPA of 3.5 on a scale of 4.0, and a strong recommendation of the Graduate Admission Committee, could be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of at least 600 in the quantitative section of the general area is required. The GRE Advanced in Physics is strongly urged. These applicants, as well as applicants with master's degrees, must pass the various examinations described later. Students from non-English speaking countries are required to have a minimum score of 550 on the Test for English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). All graduate students must demonstrate proficiency in English via the University English Competency test for graduate students.
In order to earn the Ph.D. degree in applied physics, a graduate student must earn a total of at least 60 semester hours of credit including 15 semester hours in the area of general physics. In addition to this, a student must pass a departmental qualifying examination before completing 24 semester hours of graduate credits and must also pass a depart-mental candidacy examination before being considered as a Ph.D. candidate. Also, the student must do research on an approved topic, earn a minimum of 12 semester hours of credit for the dissertation, and defend the findings of research before an advisory committee. A student cannot register for more than 6 credit hours of dissertation during a given semester. There is no foreign language requirement for the degree.
A student must pass three examinations in the following sequence before the degree is awarded:
1. All students seeking for a Ph.D. degree must pass a qualifying examination before completing 24 semester hours of graduate credits. A person who has been admitted on the basis of a master's degree may take the qualifying examination after the first semester in the program.
2. All students must take a written departmental candidacy examination in the area of specialization before filing for candidacy. This examination must be passed at least nine months before the expected graduation date. A student is considered as a Ph.D. candidate only after passing the departmental candidacy examination.
3. A Ph.D. candidate must make an oral presentation on the dissertation and must defend the findings before a committee of examiners as stated earlier. The presentation of the dissertation must be completed at least six weeks before the intended graduation date.