Each student is required to attend the Physics Colloquium for four consecutive semesters, beginning with the first semester after matriculation. The student must take a candidacy examination, consisting of a written report and a presentation made by the student, which is followed by an oral examination 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 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.