The PhD degree is a 4-5 year (typically) program that involves course work and original research using state-of-the-art techniques and facilities. Students also have the opportunity to develop teaching skills in a variety of undergraduate teaching labs. All students are expected to publish their work in peer reviewed scientific journals.
The PhD research effort typically requires four to five years. Students begin their research with a faculty advisor in the first year. In consultation with the advisor and Thesis Committee, the student develops a plan for an independent research project that culminates in a written thesis, public seminar and oral thesis defense.
For details on PhD program requirements, please consult the Graduate Bulletin.
Typically, students are provided full tuition waiver and nine-month stipend via graduate teaching assistant (GTA) or graduate research assistant (GRA) positions. Most students work extensively on their thesis research during academic breaks and during the summers with support from their faculty advisor's research grants.
Graduate students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and make adequate progress on research as assessed by the advisor and Thesis Committee. All graduate students are required to attend all departmental seminars. Attendance at seminars is only excused for teaching conflicts. In addition, students who are supported by a GTA position are expected to fulfill all obligations required of the GTA appointment.