The Physics doctoral program offers research opportunities in condensed matter physics, physics of nanostructured devices, surface science, optical physics, complex systems, biophysics, atomic and molecular physics, physics education and planetary/space science. The program intends to provide a broad base in experimental and theoretical physics.

The Physics PhD program requires a total of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree for completion. A specific set of six required core courses (18 credit hours), thirteen elective courses (39 credit hours, which may include directed research), and a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation are part of the 72 hours.

**Total Credit Hours Required: 72 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree. 42 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Master's Degree.**

## Program Prerequisites

Students entering the Physics graduate program with regular status are normally expected to have completed course work generally required for a bachelor's degree in physics, including classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermal and statistical physics, and quantum mechanics.

## Degree Requirements

### Required Core Courses

18 Total Credits

- Complete the following:
- PHY5606 - Quantum Mechanics I (3)
- PHY6624 - Quantum Mechanics II (3)
- PHY5346 - Electrodynamics I (3)
- PHY6347 - Electrodynamics II (3)
- PHY5524 - Statistical Physics (3)
- PHY6246 - Classical Mechanics (3)

### Elective Courses

39 Total Credits

- Methods Course - 3 Credit Hours Formal Course - 9 Credits Hours Remaining Electives - 27 Hours

### Methods Course

3 Total Credits

- Complete at least 1 of the following:
- PHZ5156 - Computational Physics (3)
- AST5765C - Advanced Astronomical Data Analysis (3)
- PHY5937 - Special Topics (3)

### Formal Courses

9 Total Credits

- Complete 1 of the following
- Students must complete three formal courses (9 credit hours) from the "List of Specialization Courses".
General Physics Specialization- Complete all of the following
- The General Physics Specialization emphasizes strong preparation in physics fundamentals. It is intended to prepare students for careers in theoretical physics or teaching at the college level. Several active research programs exist in the department to accommodate such students.
- Complete at least 3 of the following:
- COT5600 - Quantum Computing (3)
- PHY5933 - Selected topics in biophysics of macromolecules (3)
- PHZ5156 - Computational Physics (3)
- PHZ5405 - Condensed Matter Physics (3)
- PHZ6426 - Condensed Matter Physics I (3)
- PHZ6428 - Condensed Matter Physics II (3)
- PHY6667 - Quantum Field Theory I (3)
- PHY7669 - Quantum Field Theory II (3)
- PHZ5505 - Plasma Physics (3)
- PHZ5304 - Nuclear and Particle Physics (3)
- PHZ6234 - Atomic Physics (3)
- PHZ6420 - First Principles Computational Methods in Condensed Matter Physics (3)
- PHY6600C - Theory and Computations of Molecular Wavefunctions (3)
- PHY6938 - Special Topics (3)
- OSE5312 - Light Matter Interaction (3)
- OSE6347 - Quantum Optics (3)

- PHY 7919 - Doctoral Directed Research may also be used

Condensed Matter Physics Specialization- Complete all of the following
- The Condensed Matter Physics Specialization is intended to prepare students for careers in materials physics, nanoscale science and technology, semiconductors, and soft condensed matter physics. It emphasizes strong experimental preparation with hands-on courses in advanced materials characterization and processing instrumentation. Related research programs at UCF include magnetic nanostructures, soft condensed matter, electronic and optoelectronic devices, and nanoscale characterization.
- Complete at least 3 of the following:
- PHZ5405 - Condensed Matter Physics (3)
- PHZ6426 - Condensed Matter Physics I (3)
- PHZ6428 - Condensed Matter Physics II (3)
- PHZ5156 - Computational Physics (3)
- PHZ6420 - First Principles Computational Methods in Condensed Matter Physics (3)
- PHZ5432 - Introduction to Soft Condensed Matter Physics (3)
- PHY5933 - Selected topics in biophysics of macromolecules (3)
- PHY6667 - Quantum Field Theory I (3)
- PHY7669 - Quantum Field Theory II (3)
- COT5600 - Quantum Computing (3)
- PHY6938 - Special Topics (3)

Optical Physics Specialization- Complete all of the following
- The Optics Specialization coordinator is David Hagan, PhD, College of Optics and Photonics.
- Complete at least 1 of the following:
- OSE6111 - Optical Wave Propagation (3)
- OSE5115 - Interference and Diffraction (3)

- Complete at least 1 of the following:
- OSE6526C - Laser Engineering Laboratory (3)
- OSE6455C - Photonics Laboratory (3)

- Earn at least 3 credits from the following types of courses: The remaining courses (up to three) may be selected from other graduate courses in Optics (see https://creol.ucf.edu/academics/courses/).

### Remaining Electives

27 Total Credits

- Earn at least 27 credits from the following types of courses: Students must complete 27 credit hours of unrestricted electives, which may consist of formal courses, directed research, and/or doctoral research hours. Students should consult with their adviser about selections for the remaining unrestricted electives.

### Dissertation

15 Total Credits

- Earn at least 15 credits from the following types of courses: PHY 7980 - Dissertation Research All students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation prepared in consultation with a dissertation adviser. A fifteen-page written proposal is presented orally to the student's dissertation committee by the summer of the student’s third year in the doctoral program, after successful completion of the written candidacy exam requirement. The Department Chair may grant extensions for documented exceptional reasons. The final oral defense of the dissertation is administered by the student's dissertation committee following completion of a written dissertation describing the student's research.

### Seminar Attendance

0 Total Credits

- Students in their fourth semester and beyond will be required to attend a major fraction of seminars and colloquia hosted by the Physics Department, as well as to make an annual presentation of their research work or independent study.

### Examinations

0 Total Credits

### Placement Exam

0 Total Credits

- All incoming Physics PhD students will be required to take a diagnostic test like the Physics subject GRE. This test has placement purposes only, allowing the Graduate Program Director and academic adviser to identify possible weaknesses in the student's background and help devise a suitable plan of study. There is no passing or failure.

### Candidacy Exam

0 Total Credits

- The candidacy exam consists of two parts. Part 1 is a written exam covering 4 subjects: Quantum Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Statistical Physics, and Classical Mechanics. Students are expected to show mastering of these topics at or above the undergraduate level. The written candidacy exam is offered at least twice per year. The exam is offered over four separate days: one subject per day. Students will be allowed to attempt each subject within two years of joining the PhD program. After passing the written exam, the student should identify a research supervisor and a dissertation committee must be put in place with the approval of the graduate program director. Part 2 is an oral exam that combines an examination of the student's command of Physics and a written dissertation proposal. The oral exam should be completed by the summer of the student’s third year in the doctoral program. The Department Chair may grant extensions for documented exceptional reasons.

### Admission to Candidacy

0 Total Credits

- The following are required to obtain candidacy status and enroll in dissertation hours: Students must complete the majority of all course work prior to entering Candidacy Status. This includes: 18 Credit hours of Required Core courses, 3 credit hours of a Methods course, 9 credit hours of Formal coursework, and 27 credit hours of Remaining Electives. Students can have no more than 6 credit hours of remaining coursework (outside of Dissertation hours) when applying for Candidacy. Successful completion of both part I (written exam) and part II (oral exam) of the candidacy exam. The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of a chair, approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars. Submittal of an approved program of study. Completion of CITI and RCR Workshops

### Independent Learning

0 Total Credits

- The Physics PhD program requires a doctoral dissertation. This will provide ample opportunities for students to gain independent learning experience through studying published research papers, conducting research, and presenting their results in conferences and in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

#### Grand Total Credits: **72**

## Application Requirements

## Application Deadlines