PhD Requirements

Requirements for PhD in Physics


  • CORE: The following courses are required for the PhD: 7001, 7002, 7005, 7006, 7010, 7011.
  • SEMINAR: 8090 and 8091 are required every term.
  • RESEARCH: 9071R; a total of 10 semester credits.
  • SPECIALIZATION: A student must take a minimum of 4 advanced (8000 or 9000 level) graduate level courses, of which one should be outside the student’s research field.


  • ORAL ENGLISH PROFIENCY TEST: Passing this exam is required of all non-native English speakers. We generally expect international students to pass the OEPT by the end of their first year at UC, and students who have not passed may not teach in the classroom.
  • QUALIFYING EXAM:  Consult with Pathways to the PhD am MS Degree
  • CANDIDACY (ORAL) EXAM: This exam tests whether a student has adequate preparation for doctoral research. Students are expected to pass this exam in their third year.
  • DISSERTATION DEFENSE: A student must defend a dissertation before completing the doctoral degree.