Physics Ph.D.

Grad student teaching a class in front of a blackboard
Physics Ph.D.

Program Overview

The Physics Ph.D. program prepares students for a career in industry, education, research or academia. Students will progress from studying a core curriculum encompassing fundamental areas of physics to taking elective classes in their area of interest. They will then conduct original research in a particular research area, leading to their PhD dissertation and defense.

For more details, please consult the physics graduate student handbook.


Please visit the Graduate School website for detailed instructions about applying to the program.

Cognate in College Teaching

The Cognate in College Teaching is essentially a minor in college level teaching; this minor is given in association with a PhD degree only (not with a Master's); it is not a stand-alone degree. The purpose of the Cognate is to prepare future faculty for their role as teachers.  For more information please see the College Teaching program page in this catalog.


Department of Physics
DeMeritt Hall 237A
9 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2669
Email: Physics 

Curriculum & Requirements

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

PHYS 805Experimental Physics (or equivalent demonstrated experimental proficiency)4
PHYS 931Mathematical Physics3
PHYS 935Statistical Physics3
PHYS 939Classical Mechanics3
PHYS 941
& PHYS 942
Electromagnetic Theory I
and Electromagnetic Theory II
PHYS 943
& PHYS 944
Quantum Mechanics I
and Quantum Mechanics II
PHYS 806Introduction to Physics Research and Teaching (two semesters, taken during the first year in the program)1
Select four additional 3+ credit elective courses, of which 2 may be at the 800 level 112
Total Credits38

Students are required to

  • demonstrate proficiency in teaching,
  • pass the written comprehensive exam, and
  • pass an oral qualifying exam on a thesis proposal.

Degree candidates are required to

  • register for a minimum of two semesters of PHYS 999 Doctoral Research,
  • pass the oral dissertation defense, and
  • successfully submit the final dissertation to the Graduate School.

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