Guidelines for Physics Ph.D. Students at Wesleyan University
- There are 5 core graduate courses (500 level) that
must be taken (or placed out of) - Electrodynamics, Quantum Mechanics,
Classical Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics and Mathematical Physics.
- There is a set of courses that are taken each
semester. They are Physics Colloquium, Chemical Physics Seminar (as
required by advisor), Research Area Seminar and Advanced Topics in
Physics (as required by advisor; at least 5 courses for graduation)
- The written qualifier examination is normally taken
during by the first semester of the second year. In preparation for
this exam, during the first year, graduate students normally will take
any upper level 300/500 level courses (not the 5 core graduate
- Advancement to the initial stage of Ph.D. candidacy
is based on three criteria: performance in course work at Wesleyan,
performance in research, and performance on the written qualifier
- Each graduate student will have a three-faculty
committee that will include the faculty mentor. The committee will be
formed immediately after advancement to the initial stage of candidacy.
Each graduate student will meet at least once per academic year with his/her committee.
- Advancement to the final stage of Ph.D. candidacy is
based on an oral presentation of research progress and plans for a coherent thesis.
This presentation should take place no later than the fifth semester in
the program, and will be judged by the faculty committee (with input
from all faculty) and by an additional outside expert evaluator, if the
- The department has a policy of no outside employment
by supported graduate students except in unusual circumstances. Any exception
requires support of the student's committee and is subject to
- Contingent upon satisfactory progress, graduate
students may be supported for up to 6 years.
- A written thesis and a final oral presentation of the
thesis research are required and will be evaluated and judged by the
faculty committee (with input from all faculty) and an additional
outside expert, if the committee wishes.