Physics, Ph.D.

View Checksheet

Minimum Total Hours: 90

Program Code: D780

Program Requirements

Required Physics and/or Astronomy Coursework (36 hours)
PHYS 5000Introduction to Graduate Studies in Physics0
PHYS 5013Mathematical Methods in Physics3
PHYS 5153Classical Mechanics3
PHYS 5163Statistical Mechanics3
PHYS 5393Quantum Mechanics I3
PHYS 5403Quantum Mechanics II3
PHYS 5573Electrodynamics I3
PHYS 5583Electrodynamics II3
15 hours in PHYS and ASTR coursework at the 5000-level and above (excluding 5980 and 6980), or in related fields at the graduate-4000-level and above as approved by the advisory committee and graduate liaison 115
PHYS 6980Research for Doctoral Dissertation (minimum 2 hours)2
Additional Coursework (52 hours)
Additional graduate-level coursework as needed to reach 90 post-baccalaureate hours, as approved by the advisory committee52
Total Credit Hours90

If the dissertation topic is in Astronomy, the curriculum must include at least 12 hours of Astronomy courses, including ASTR 4303 and any ASTR courses at the 5000-level or above, excluding 5980 and 6980.


The General Exam consists of a written paper and oral presentation on an area related to proposed thesis. The General Exam can only be taken after passing the internal departmental qualifiying exams on Quantum Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Classical & Statistical Mechanics and (if appropriate) Astrophysics. 

General Requirements for Doctoral Degrees

A student should expect to spend at least the equivalent of three full academic years beyond the bachelor’s degree to obtain the doctoral degree. During this period the student will take appropriate graduate coursework, successfully complete the general examination, and successfully defend and submit the final dissertation.

All coursework applied to the doctoral degree must carry graduate credit.

The doctoral degree requires at least 90 post-baccalaureate hours, including both formal coursework and hours of research.

The minimum hour requirement for a specific doctoral degree program cannot be waived.

No more than one-half of the credit hours, both OU and overall, excluding Research for Doctoral Dissertation (6980), may be S/U-graded coursework.

The student must be in residence at OU for at least two consecutive 16-week semesters during the pursuit of the doctoral degree while enrolled and engaged in coursework or research activities as prescribed by the major academic unit.

For more detailed regulations and requirements for Doctoral degrees, please consult the Graduate College Bulletin: