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Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics

The University's basic requirements for the Ph.D. including residency, dissertation, and examinations are discussed in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin. The program leading to a Ph.D. in Applied Physics consists of course work, research, qualifying for Ph.D. candidacy, a research progress report, a University oral examination, and a dissertation as follows:

  1. Course Work:
    1. Courses in Physics and Mathematics to overcome deficiencies, if any, in undergraduate preparation.
    2. Basic graduate courses* (letter grades required):
      1. Advanced Mechanics—one quarter: PHYSICS 210, or approved substitute 211
      2. Statistical Physics—one quarter: PHYSICS 212
      3. Electrodynamics—two quarters: PHYSICS 220, 221
      4. Quantum Mechanics—two quarters: PHYSICS 230, 231, or approved substitutes 232, 330, 331, 332, 370
      5. Laboratory—one quarter: APPPHYS 207, 208, 232, 304, 305; EE 234, 410; MATSCI 171, 172, 173; PHYSICS 301.
    3. 18 units of additional advanced courses in science and/or engineering, not including Directed Study (APPPHYS 290), Dissertation Research (APPPHYS 390), and 1-unit seminar courses. Examples of suitable courses include BIO 217; EE 222, 223, 231, 232, 248, 268, 346; PHYSICS 372, 373. Only 3 units at the 300 or above level may be taken on a satisfactory/no credit basis.
    4. 96 units of additional courses to meet the minimum residency requirement of 135. Directed study and research units as well as 1-unit seminar courses can be included.
    5. A final average overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) is required for courses used to fulfill degree requirements.
    6. Students are normally expected to complete the specified course requirements by the end of their third year of graduate study.
  2. Research: may be conducted in a science/engineering field under the supervision of a member of the Applied Physics faculty or appropriate faculty from other departments.
  3. Ph.D. Candidacy: satisfactory progress in academic and research work, together with passing the Ph.D. candidacy qualifying examination, qualifies the student to apply for Ph.D. candidacy, and must be completed before the third year of graduate registration. The examination consists of a seminar on a suitable subject delivered by the student before the faculty academic adviser (or an approved substitute) and two other members of the faculty selected by the department.
  4. Research Progress Report: normally before the end of the Winter Quarter of the fourth year of enrollment in graduate study at Stanford, the student arranges to give an oral research progress report of approximately 45 minutes, of which a minimum of 15 minutes should be devoted to questions from the Ph.D. reading committee.
  5. University Ph.D. Oral Examination: consists of a public seminar in defense of the dissertation, followed by private questioning of the candidate by the University examining committee.
  6. Dissertation: must be approved and signed by the Ph.D. reading committee.

* Requirements for item '1b' may be totally or partly satisfied with equivalent courses taken elsewhere, pending the approval of the graduate study committee.

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