Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

student in labThe Ph.D. degree requires a total of 90 credit hours This includes successfully completing a core group of physics courses, completing 3 specialty courses approved by the student’s graduate committee, and completing and extensive, original research project, culminating in a formal dissertation.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

As an integral part of the work toward the Ph.D. degree, the student is expected to attend the general departmental seminar regularly and special seminars in his/her specialty.

Qualifying Exam

Upon entrance to IUPUI, Graduate students in physics are required to pass the Qualifying Examination at the Ph.D. level. The Qualifying Exam must be taken, at the latest, after completing the first semester of graduate work. See the graduate student handbook for more information.

Plan of Study

A Plan of Study for the Ph.D. degree should give the student a relatively broad acquaintance with the general field of physics and form a firm basis for specialization and thesis research.

Students should talk with several faculty members during their first semester, and choose an adviser as soon as possible. The student’s plan of study is determined in cooperation with the adviser, and a committee which is approved by the department.


Ph.D students complete a substantial research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. A thesis is submitted to the Graduate School and the student must defend the work in a public presentation followed by a meeting with the student’s graduate advisory committee. The thesis is preceded by successful performance of the student in a preliminary examination.

Areas of active research within the Department include, biological physics, AMO physics, condensed matter physics, and physics education. Interdisciplinary research is common. Strong collaborations exist between our faculty and members of other departments of the School of Science, and with the School of Medicine, School of Engineering and Technology and the School of Informatics.