Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree in the field of Applied Physics

Program Learning Outcomes for the MS and PhD Degrees in the field of Applied Physics

Upon completing the MS and PhD degree programs in the field of Applied Physics, students will be able to:

  1. Acquire and demonstrate advanced knowledge in the foundational applications of physics including familiarity with past and current scientific literature in their chosen specialization.
  2. Develop the ability to conduct independent applied physics research including the aptitude to identify, formulate, and overcome challenging scientific and engineering problems in this endeavor.
  3. Make an original and significant technical contribution in their chosen specialization area.

Requirements for the MS and PhD Degrees in the field of Applied Physics

The Applied Physics Program (APP) offers a PhD degree. For general university requirements, please see Doctoral Degrees. The MS degree is a thesis master’s degree. For general university requirements, please see Thesis Master’s Degrees.

The program does not offer a stand-alone thesis MS 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 online at https://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 the 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.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the PhD in the field of Applied Physics90

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements 1
Select 4 courses from the following, depending on area of research (see Specialization Curricula below): 212
QUANTUM MECHANICS I 3
QUANTUM CHEMISTRY
STATISTICAL PHYSICS 3
CLASSICAL AND STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS
CLASSICAL DYNAMICS
CLASSICAL ELECTRODYNAMICS
FLUID MECHANICS AND TRANSPORT PROCESSES
MATHEMATICAL METHODS
PHYSICAL BIOLOGY
INTRODUCTION TO SOLID STATE PHYSICS I
Elective Requirements
Students must complete a total of 5 additional courses as electives (See Specialization Curricula suggested courses below) 315
Additional Requirements as Defined by Department63
Total Credit Hours90

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Specialization Curricula

Some 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
BIOE 502 / SSPB 501PHYSICAL BIOLOGY3
CHBE 501FLUID MECHANICS AND TRANSPORT PROCESSES3
PHYS 515CLASSICAL DYNAMICS3
Suggested Elective Courses
BIOC 551MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS3
BIOE 589 / BIOC 589COMPUTATIONAL MOLECULAR BIOENGINEERING/BIOPHYSICS3
BIOE 610 / PHYS 610METHODS OF MOLECULAR SIMULATION3
CHBE 560 / MSNE 560COLLOIDAL AND INTERFACIAL PHENOMENA3
MSNE 555MATERIALS IN NATURE AND BIO-MIMETIC STRATEGIES3
PHYS 551BIOLOGICAL PHYSICS3
PHYS 552TOPICS IN BIOLOGICAL PHYSICS3

Applied Mathematical and Computational Physics

Suggested Core Courses
CHBE 501FLUID MECHANICS AND TRANSPORT PROCESSES3
CHEM 520CLASSICAL AND STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS3
PHYS 516MATHEMATICAL METHODS3
PHYS 532CLASSICAL ELECTRODYNAMICS3
Suggested Elective Courses
BIOE 610METHODS OF MOLECULAR SIMULATION3
CAAM 615 / NEUR 615THEORETICAL NEUROSCIENCE: FROM CELLS TO LEARNING SYSTEMS3
CHBE 615APPLICATION OF MOLECULAR SIMULATION AND STATISTICAL MECHANICS3
CHEM 531ADVANCED QUANTUM CHEMISTRY3
ELEC 581 / BIOE 581CARDIOVASCULAR AND RESPIRATORY SYSTEM DYNAMICS3
MECH 520 / CEVE 503NONLINEAR FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS3
MSNE 533COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS MODELING3
PHYS 516MATHEMATICAL METHODS3
PHYS 517COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS3
PHYS 605 / ELEC 605COMPUTATIONAL ELECTRODYNAMICS AND NANOPHOTONICS3

Applied Mechanics

Suggested Core Courses
CHBE 501FLUID MECHANICS AND TRANSPORT PROCESSES3
PHYS 515CLASSICAL DYNAMICS3
PHYS 516MATHEMATICAL METHODS3
Suggested Elective Courses
CHBE 602PHYSICO-CHEMICAL HYDRODYNAMICS3
CHBE 603RHEOLOGY3
CHBE 630CHEMICAL ENGINEERING OF NANOSTRUCTURED MATERIALS3
MSNE 523PROPERTIES, SYNTHESIS AND DESIGN OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS3
PHYS 535 / MSNE 535CRYSTALLOGRAPHY AND DIFFRACTION3
MSNE 650NANOMATERIALS AND NANOMECHANICS3

Applied Chemical Physics

Suggested Core Courses
CHEM 530QUANTUM CHEMISTRY3
CHBE 501FLUID MECHANICS AND TRANSPORT PROCESSES3
PHYS 526STATISTICAL PHYSICS3
PHYS 563 / ELEC 563INTRODUCTION TO SOLID STATE PHYSICS I3
Suggested Elective Courses
BIOE 610 / PHYS 610METHODS OF MOLECULAR SIMULATION3
CHEM 595TRANSITION METAL CHEMISTRY3
CHEM 531ADVANCED QUANTUM CHEMISTRY3
CHEM 533 / CEVE 533NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY I3
CHEM 547SUPRAMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY3
CHBE 560 / MSNE 560COLLOIDAL AND INTERFACIAL PHENOMENA3
CHBE 590KINETICS, CATALYSIS, AND REACTION ENGINEERING3
CHBE 615APPLICATION OF MOLECULAR SIMULATION AND STATISTICAL MECHANICS3
CHBE 630CHEMICAL ENGINEERING OF NANOSTRUCTURED MATERIALS3
PHYS 539CHARACTERIZATION AND FABRICATION AT THE NANOSCALE3

Applied Optics and Photonics

Suggested Core Courses
PHYS 521QUANTUM MECHANICS I3
PHYS 526STATISTICAL PHYSICS3
PHYS 532CLASSICAL ELECTRODYNAMICS3
PHYS 563 / ELEC 563INTRODUCTION TO SOLID STATE PHYSICS I3
Suggested Elective Courses
BIOE 587OPTICAL IMAGING AND NANOBIOPHOTONICS3
ELEC 562OPTOELECTRONIC DEVICES3
ELEC 568LASER SPECTROSCOPY3
ELEC 569 / PHYS 569ULTRAFAST OPTICAL PHENOMENA3
ELEC 571IMAGING AT THE NANOSCALE3
ELEC 603TOPICS IN NANOPHOTONICS2
PHYS 571MODERN ATOMIC PHYSICS3

Applied Physical Electronics

Suggested Core Courses
PHYS 516MATHEMATICAL METHODS3
PHYS 521QUANTUM MECHANICS I3
PHYS 532CLASSICAL ELECTRODYNAMICS3
PHYS 563 / ELEC 563INTRODUCTION TO SOLID STATE PHYSICS I3
Suggested Elective Courses
CHEM 511SPECTRAL METHODS IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY3
ELEC 562OPTOELECTRONIC DEVICES3
ELEC 680 / BIOE 680NANO-NEUROTECHNOLOGY3
PHYS 522QUANTUM MECHANICS II3
PHYS 539CHARACTERIZATION AND FABRICATION AT THE NANOSCALE3
PHYS 567QUANTUM MATERIALS3
PHYS 663CONDENSED MATTER THEORY: APPLICATIONS3

Policies for the PhD Degree in the field of Applied Physics 

Applied Physics Graduate Program Handbook

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. As an additional resource for students, Applied Physics publishes a graduate program handbook, which can be found here: 
http://gradhandbooks.rice.edu/2017_18/Applied_Physics_Graduate_Handbook%20-%20Copy.pdf

For additional information, please see the Applied Physics website: https://sci.rice.edu/appliedphysics

Opportunities for the PhD Degree in the field of Applied Physics 

For additional information, please see the Applied Physics website: https://sci.rice.edu/appliedphysics