A Ph.D. program in physics allows students to further their studies in the general field of physics while also putting emphasis on one or two specific fields of interest. A bachelor's degree is required for admission; however, some students enter with a master's degree and are allowed to transfer certain classes to avoid duplication. Students will also need to provide letters of recommendation, GRE scores and, in some cases, GRE subject test scores in physics.
These degrees generally take 5-6 years to complete and require students to pass a comprehensive exam and defend a dissertation in order to graduate.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Atomic and Molecular Physics
- Nuclear Physics
- Optical Sciences
- Solid State Physics
- Theoretical Physics
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics
Typically, a physics Ph.D. program includes five or six core courses, and research and courses towards the dissertation begin the second year. Some programs allow students to earn their Master of Science in Physics concurrently. Program courses vary but could include:
- Solid-state physics
- Chemical thermodynamics
- Advanced thermodynamics
- Applied physics
Popular Career Options
Numerous career opportunities exist for graduates other than teaching at a major university. Some graduates are pursued by businesses because of their ability to problem solve and think analytically. Some possible careers include:
- University professor
- Business consultant
- Chemical physicist
With a Ph.D. in Physics, graduates have many career opportunities due to their high level of specialist knowledge and analytical skills. Over the course of the program, students have the opportunity to earn a master's degree at the same time.