Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Graduate Study
Astrophysics and Astronomy - Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

For admission to the doctoral degree program in astrophysics and astronomy on regular status, the student must have:

  1. Completed mathematics and astronomy or physics courses equivalent to those that are required for an undergraduate major in physics or astronomy.
  2. A satisfactory grade–point average, normally at least 3.00, in the courses referenced in item 1. above.

Students who do not meet the requirements for admission to the program on regular status may be admitted on a provisional basis to remove deficiencies.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Astrophysics and Astronomy

The student must:

  1. Pass the doctoral qualifying exam that tests basic knowledge of undergraduate physics.
  2. Complete the following core graduate physics courses or their subject examinations, and the following core of  astronomy courses, with a grade-point average of 3.375 or higher.
    Physics
    PHY    820    Classical Mechanics  (3)
    PHY    831    Statistical Mechanics  (3)
    PHY    841    Classical Electrodynamics  (3)
    Astronomy
    AST    810    Radiation Astrophysics  (3)
    AST    825    Galactic Astronomy  (3)
    AST    835    Extragalactic Astronomy  (3)
    AST    840    Stellar Astrophysics  (3)
    PHY    983    Nuclear Astrophysics  (3)
  3. Satisfactorily complete 6 credits in Astronomy 805 Research Project. This research project is taken over two semesters and will be graded on the basis of a written paper and oral examination that also serves as the student’s comprehensive examination.
  4. Complete one semester of half-time teaching.
  5. Complete a doctoral dissertation on original research.
  6. Pass a final oral examination in defense of the dissertation.