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Doctoral Degree Requirements


Doctor of Philosophy Degree


Required courses include:

PHYS-210/211 (Classical Mechanics I&II),

PHYS-214/215 (Electromagnetic Theory I&II),

PHYS-220/221 (Quantum Mechanics I&II) and

PHYS-222/223 (Statistical Mechanics I&II).

A minimum of 72 hours (inclusive of M. S. hours obtained at Howard) is required. The student is required to pass a qualifying examination.


Other advanced courses offered by the Department are strongly recommended. Students who have completed the Master of Science Degree at another Institution, prior to enrolling in the Howard University Ph. D. Physics program, should consult the Chairman of the Department concerning the transferability of courses.


Students must make a grade of "B" or better in each of the core courses required in the program. The student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 to satisfy graduation requirements. Students should consult the document "Rules and Regulations for the Pursuit of Academic Degrees" concerning grades below "B." Further the Student should consult "Rules and Regulations for the Pursuit of Academic Degrees" concerning other general requirements for the Ph. D. Degree. Such requirements involve, but are not limited to, Residency, Transfer of Credits, Course Viability, Length of Time for Completion of Degree, Enrollment in Dissertation Courses, Grades for Dissertation Courses, Academic Status, Expositiry Writing Requirements, Foreign Language Requirements, and Admission to Candidacy for the Degree.


Admission to Candidacy for the Ph. D. Degree


Before being admitted to Candidacy for the Ph. D. Degree, the student must complete the core courses in the department with a grade of "B" or better, pass the Ph. D. Qualifying Examination described later in this document, and have a dissertation topic approved by the department. Other requirements are described in "Rules and Regulations for the Pursuit of Academic Degrees."


Description of the Ph.D. Dissertation


All students in the Ph.D. Program must write and defend a Dissertation based on original research. Dissertations may be written in absentia. Students are advised to select a research advisor as early as possible

As a condition for admission to candidacy, the student must present an approved Proposal for his/her Doctoral Dissertation research. This Proposal must be presented and defended before the department faculty.


Faculty members will vote on whether or not the student passes this oral defense. The Proposal must include the title of the proposed project, an outline of the proposed research, and a discussion of the scope and significance of the problem. The student and the Dissertation Advisor should recommend to the Department Chairman other individuals to serve on the Dissertation Committee. The Department Chairperson and the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences must approve the Committee. The student should consult the Department concerning criteria of members on the Dissertation Committee.


The Doctoral Dissertation must be a result of significant and sustained original research in the studentís field of study. Further, the research should contribute to the body of knowledge in this field of study. The Dissertation must be defended orally in a formal public presentation to the department faculty and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. This final oral examination for the Ph.D. Degree will encompass the specific work that constitute the Dissertation and the studentís general knowledge in physics.


The student should consult the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Department concerning the format for the Dissertation Proposal and the Dissertation. Twelve (12) hours of PHYS-400 Dissertation is reguired. As long as the student is using University facilities while working on a doctoral dissertation, the student must continue to enroll in a dissertation course. If the student has accumulated more than twelve (12) hours of PHYS-400 Dissertation, then he/she must register as an auditor in this course. A Ph. D. student is not permitted to registrer for dissertation courses until after admission to candidacy.