Students are required to complete 90 semester hours of graduate course work. This includes 15 hours selecting five out of six core courses covering classical and quantum mechanics, statistical physics, and electromagnetic theory, and 12 hours of 600 or 700 level courses in two different areas of physics. The remaining hours are for dissertation work or other graduate course work in physics and related fields.
Transfer credits for students entering with a master's degree or with graduate coursework from another institution are allowed. Transfer credits are limited to a total of 30 semester hours.
Typically each semester some courses are offered in the evening in order to accommodate non-traditional and part-time students.
Students entering the program without a master's degree in physics are required to pass a MS qualifying examination covering undergraduate material, which is usually taken during the first year. This can be waived given a physics GRE score of 50%.
Successful completion of a Ph.D. candidacy examination based on the core courses and upper-level undergraduate courses is required of all students in the Ph.D. program.