The Smalley-Curl Institute
This program includes faculty from physics and astronomy, chemistry, materials science, electrical and computer engineering, bioengineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, statistics, biosciences, computational and applied mathematics, and earth science.
A joint effort of both the natural sciences and the engineering divisions at Rice where the application of physics principles is beneficial, and overseen by the Smalley-Curl Institute (SCI), the Applied Physics Program (APP) is administered by a committee composed of members from the participating departments mentioned above. The objective is to provide an interdisciplinary graduate education in the basic science that underlies important technology. The faculty believes that the experience obtained by performing research at the intellectually stimulating interface of physical science and engineering is particularly effective in producing graduates who succeed in careers based on new and emerging technologies.
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, students can access virtually any of the research facilities in either the natural sciences or engineering schools of Rice University. The Applied Physics Curriculum and Admissions Committee (APCAC) urges prospective students to contact individual departments or SCI for detailed descriptions of research facilities and ongoing research projects.
Applied Physics does not offer an academic program at the undergraduate level.
Upon completing the MS and PhD degree programs in Applied Physics, students will be able to:
For Graduation Requirements, see Graduate Degrees. The Applied Physics Program (APP) offers a PhD degree. The program does not offer a stand-alone thesis Master of Science degree, although students admitted to the program are required to earn the MS within the program before proceeding to the PhD. For each degree, the student must fulfill the university requirements set forth in the General Announcements under which he/she entered. The semester hour requirements may be fulfilled both by classroom hours and research hours. A total of nine one-semester, 3-credit hour per course minimum, graduate level courses is required for the master’s degree in applied physics, ordinarily a requirement for advancement to candidacy in the PhD program. Four of these are core courses required of all students, and five are elective courses chosen according to individual research goals. The Applied Physics Curriculum and Admissions Committee (APCAC) may waive some course requirements for students who demonstrate a thorough knowledge of material in one or more core/elective course(s). Full requirements are available on line at sci.rice.edu/academics/graduate/graduate.php .
By the end of the third year in the program, all APP students should have completed the university requirements for a master’s degree, fulfilled the course requirements of the APP, and defended a master’s thesis in a public oral examination by a committee approved by the APCAC. The examination covers the work reported in the thesis as well as the entire field in which the student intends to work toward their PhD. The examining committee votes separately on awarding the master’s degree and on admission to candidacy for the PhD. The student also must fulfill the teaching/grading requirements set by the host department to achieve candidacy. Fulfillment of all university degree requirements and successful defense of a PhD thesis in a public examination by an APCAC-approved committee is necessary for the PhD.
CORE REQUIREMENTSStudents must complete 4 courses (12 credit hours) from the following, depending on area of research (see Specialization Curricula below). Any course taken beyond the 4-course requirement for the Applied Physics Core Requirements can be applied towards the Applied Physics Electives requirement.
It is assumed that the student has an adequate background in classical mechanics, electrostatics, and statistical and thermal physics. This background is determined from interviews or exams given to entering students by the APCAC or the host department.
ELECTIVES To fulfill the remaining requirements for the Applied Physics degree program, students must complete a total of 5 additional courses (15 credit hours) as electives (See Specialization Curricula suggested courses below). A full list of elective courses can be found on the Applied Physics website at http://rqi.rice.edu/curriculum/. No courses may be used for both core and elective courses. Due to overlap of curricula, only one from each of the pairs PHYS 521/CHEM 530, and PHYS 526/CHEM 520/CHBE 540 may be used for the nine required courses.
SPECIALIZATION CURRICULASome examples of specialization tracks that one may choose are listed below. The lists are only suggested lists and are by no means a full list of possible courses for the specialization area.
Applied Biological and Soft Matter Physics
Suggested Core Courses
Suggested Elective Courses
Applied Mathematical and Computational Physics
Suggested Elective Courses
Suggested Core Courses
Applied Chemical Physics
Applied Optics & Photonics
Applied Physical Electronics
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the Applied Physics graduate degree programs. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: Courses from various subjects may apply toward the graduate degree.Department Description and Code - Applied Physics: APPLDegree Descriptions and Codes - Master of Science degree: MS - Doctor of Philosophy degree: PhDDegree Program Descriptions and Codes - Degree Program offered to students in Bioengineering: APBI - Degree Program offered to students in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: APCB - Degree Program offered to students in Electrical Engineering: APEL - Degree Program offered to students in Mechanical Engineering: APME - Degree Program offered to students in Materials Science and NanoEngineering: APMS - Degree Program offered to students in Statistics: APST - Degree Program offered to students in Chemistry: APCH - Degree Program offered to students in Earth Science: APEA - Degree Program offered to students in Physics: APPH
The official course offerings, including course descriptions, listed in the Applied Physics Graduate Requirements section can be found in Rice's Course Catalog.
To view the most recent course schedule for the 2016-2017 academic year, see Rice's Course Schedule.
For additional information regarding Applied Physics, see the department's website: http://sci.rice.edu/academics/graduate/graduate.php.