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The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers graduate programs leading to the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees. The department is in Sharp Laboratory, which houses a physics library, research and teaching laboratories, excellent machine and electronics shops and advanced computing facilities.
Students may enter the Ph.D. program after successfully completing an M.S. degree program, at the University of Delaware or elsewhere, or may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program directly after a bachelor’s degree. To obtain a Ph.D., students will normally follow the coursework-intensive regular track. Students entering the program with an M.S. degree in physics or astronomy who are particularly well prepared may choose to follow the less coursework-intensive fast track.
Visit UD’s graduate catalog for information on M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics and astronomy, including admissions requirements, financial aid, and degree requirements.
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Students may enter the Ph.D. program after successfully completing an M.S. degree program, at the University of Delaware or elsewhere, or may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program directly after a bachelor’s degree. To obtain a Ph.D., students will normally follow the course intensive regular track. Students entering the program with an M.S. degree in Physics or Astronomy that are particularly well prepared may choose to follow the less coursework intensive fast track.
In addition to fulfilling the course requirements, Ph.D. students must:
The dissertation is defended in an oral examination administered by the student's dissertation committee.
The M.S. with thesis requires 24 credits hours in PHYS courses, including at most 3 credits of research (PHYS 868). At least 6 credits of classroom courses must be at the PHYS 800 level. In addition, 6 credits of thesis work (PHYS 869) are required. The purpose of the M.S. thesis is to demonstrate that the student can conduct research under supervision and communicate the results clearly in English. The thesis is defended in an oral examination administered by a committee of three members of the Department.
The M.S. without thesis degree requires 30 credit hours in PHYS courses, including at most 3 credits of research (PHYS 868). At least 6 credits of classroom courses must be at the PHYS 800 level. In addition, the degree candidate will survey the literature on a current topic in physics or astronomy, write a report on this topic and make a public presentation to the department, represented by three members of its faculty (appointed by the director of the graduate program with approval of the chair of the department).
A graduate physics education should stimulate intellectual excitement and instill the knowledge, skills, confidence, independence, and versatility needed for a successful career in either the sciences and other quantitative or technical fields. Essential to this goal is a talented, enthusiastic, and imaginative faculty committed to the professional development of graduate students. Graduate program faculty and students are involved in a variety of experimental, theoretical, and computational research activities. In-house experimental research laboratories are well equipped for studies of condensed and molecular matter. Off-campus research activities involve high altitude balloon flights, a worldwide network of neutron monitors, and cosmic ray and solar observatories in Antarctica. Faculty and students also conduct research at national laboratories, both in the U.S. and abroad, and make use of a variety of ground- and space-based astronomical observatories.
Beginning graduate students have ample opportunity to learn about faculty research in much greater detail through a faculty research seminar PHYS600 given during the Fall semesters of their first year. In addition, informal discussions with more senior graduate students are useful in determining both an area and an adviser for research.
Essential to the vitality of the Departmental research effort is an
extensive Seminar and Colloquium program in which visitors from other
universities and laboratories, foreign and domestic, discuss frontiers
Nearly all graduate students in the program are at some point or another supported as Teaching Assistants. Visit the UD’s Graduate College for information on academic policies and the Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning for helpful guidance and resources.
Graduate students after their fifth semester in the program are
supported by a research group as Research Assistants. In addition to
standard research groups run by individual faculty, the Department also
hosts five Research Centers (Bartol Research Institute, Center for Spintronics and Biodetection, Delaware Asteroseismic Research Center,
Center for Advanced Magnetics, and Center for Space Radiation
Effects) which allow qualified students to become Research Assistants
during their first year in Delaware.