Degree Requirements: Ph.D. with dual major in Physics and Mathematics

Ph.D. with dual major in Physics and Mathematics

Students in the Ph.D. program with dual major in Physics and Mathematics satisfy symmetric requirements in Physics and Mathematics in which the students complete at most 120% of the normal required course load (including courses outside physics), but the requirements in Physics and Mathematics carry equal weight. The requirements for the dual Physics/Mathematics Ph.D. are:

1. Pass the Qualifying Examination on undergraduate Physics at a Ph.D. level (grade of A) before the end of the student's first semester of the second year. A maximum of three tries is allowed on this exam. Alternatively, a student may qualify for the Ph.D. program by taking a sequence of undergraduate courses, based on discussions with the graduate advisory committee, and by achieving at least a 3.5 average on these courses, with no course grade below 3.0.

2. Complete a program of basic coursework. Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in coursework. The required courses for the physics component are three of the following (provided they have not been completed at another accredited graduate school)

Methods of Theoretical Physics, PHY 810 (Fall)
Classical Mechanics, PHY 820 (Fall)
Statistical Mechanics, PHY 831 (Fall)
Quantum Mechanics I, PHY 851 (Fall)
Electrodynamics I, PHY 841 (Spring)
In addition, dual Ph.D. students must also complete at least half of a normal course load in mathematics.

3. Satisfy the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam requirement by the end of the first semester of the third year. A student will be given two attempts at each of the parts of this requirement. To satisfy this requirement, students in the Dual Mathematics and Physics Ph.D. program must pass in two instead of four Physics subject exams (see Sec. VI) and two instead of four mathematics subject exams.

4. In addition to these basic courses, the student's Ph.D. Guidance Committee may prescribe advanced courses, in a consultation with the student and the student's research advisor.

5. Form a Ph.D. Guidance Committee (see Sections VII and VIII) no later than six months after fulfilling the Comprehensive Exams Requirement. The Guidance Committee must meet with the student at least once every year. The Guidance Committee for mathematics/physics PhD students contains at least three physics faculty and two mathematics faculty.

6. Write a dissertation on original research, followed by an oral examination based on the dissertation and related material. A student's research program is determined in consultation with the student's research advisor and guided by the student's Ph.D. Guidance Committee.

7. Register for a minimum of 12 credits of doctoral dissertation research (Physics 999) and 12 credits of doctoral dissertation research (Mathematics 999).

8. All dual major doctoral programs must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. A request for the dual major degree must be submitted within one semester following its development and within the first two years of the student's enrollment at MSU. A copy of the guidance committee report must be attached with this request. For more details see "Dual Major Doctoral Programs" in Academic Programs