PhD in Physics/Applied Physics


Program Description

The objective of graduate work in physics is to prepare the student for continued professional and scholarly development as a physicist. The Physics Master of Science Degree Programs are designed to give the student advanced training in all fundamental areas of physics through formal courses and the options of some degree of specialization or participation in original research in one of a variety of projects directed by the faculty. The Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Applied Physics Program combines the traditional elements of a science doctoral program with courses in specifically applied topics and internship in a technological environment. It is designed to produce highly trained professionals with a broad perspective of the subject which may prepare them equally well for careers in academic or government or industrial laboratories.

Current research in the department is conducted in the areas of condensed matter physics and materials science, nano-bio physics, astrophysics and space physics, high-energy physics, optics, and Physics education.

Admission Requirements

All students admitted to the Ph.D. program are supported with a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) position, which provides a stipend of $18,000 for nine months (minus deductions for health insurance) and a scholarship that pays 85% of tuition (the remaining tuition, about $1500 is paid by the student). We also provide support for the summer, though the exact amount varies. Many students receive more that this level of support through various departmental grants and scholarships. Students generally transition to a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) position once they begin their research. The GRA is paid by the faculty research advisor's grant, and this pays the entire tuition, plus the stipend (the exact amount is set by the professor, but it is about the same as the GTA). Students in good academic standing will receive support in the form of a GRA or GTA until they finish the Ph.D. Good academic standing is defined as

1. Maintaining a B average or better in all courses - a GPA less than 3.0 is cause for academic probation.

2. Passing all four department qualifying exams before the end of the second year. There are 4 exams each of three hours taken over 2 days (Electricity & Magnetism, Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics). Students have two opportunities to take each exam. If all four are not passed after 2 attempts, the student is dismissed from the program (there may be an addition oral exam if the student is close to, but not passing, so there can be a 3rd chance). Incoming students can take all four qualifying exams in August when they arrive. Passing an exam counts, but failing an exam does not, so we advise all students to take the exams to get a sense of the level (upper division/beginning graduate) of the exams.

3. Having your faculty research advisor certify that adequate progress is being made toward the Ph.D.

We do our best to support students so that they can be successful. About 80% of students admitted complete their Ph.D. degree.

Time to degree varies across the research groups in the department, but the average is about 6 years (as short as 4, and long as 7). Students entering with a M.S. degree may get some required courses waived if they took the equivalent course at another institution. That determination is made by the Graduate Advisor.

Applicants should review the department web page carefully to determine what kind of research is being conducted to make certain that their interests corresponds with the work being conducted at UT Arlington. It is also advisable to contact professors in areas of interest to find out if they expect to have an opening for a graduate student in the year after next. Sometimes the professor knows if they will or will not be adding a student to the group. In addition to academic factors, the Physics Graduate Admissions Committee takes into account the research needs of the department when looking at student applications as part of our effort to have balance and diversity in our admissions. The statement of interest that students write as part of the application is considered in that context.

Tuition and Affordability

UTA Tuition and Affordability Information

Priority Application Dates

Fall | March 15
Spring | August 15
Summer | February 15

Applications are accepted after the published priority date for each term, but for guaranteed consideration of admission please submit the application and associated materials by the priority date. However, it is important to apply well in advance of your intended start date to be eligible for program-specific funding opportunities such as assistantships and fellowships. Keep in mind that departmental application processing times vary greatly and some programs require applications up to one year in advance.

Last updated Jan 2020

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About the School

An educational leader in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth, the University of Texas at Arlington nurtures minds within an environment that values excellence, ingenuity, and diversity. There is strong ... Read More

An educational leader in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth, the University of Texas at Arlington nurtures minds within an environment that values excellence, ingenuity, and diversity. There is strong economic development here--Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the top ten fastest growing metros in the United States. Read less