Each student is required to pass PHYS 5800 for four consecutive semesters, beginning with the first semester after matriculation. The student must also take an oral candidacy examination, consisting of a written report and a presentation made by the student, which is followed by questions from departmental faculty. The candidacy exam is based upon a research topic set by the student’s supervisory committee. The candidacy examination will normally occur no later than the fifth semester after the student begins graduate coursework. The student will have at least two months to prepare for the examination.
The Physics Department requires each PhD student to present at least two research seminars associated with his/her research (neither of which can be the Candidacy Examination oral presentation). One of these is associated with the dissertation defense, the other seminar can be a local seminar given to members of a local research group, a presentation at a regional, national, or international conference, or an invited talk at another institution.