Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Degree Requirements (Ph.D.)


Research & Thesis

Completion of a research project and presentation of a thesis within four years of initial registration.

An oral candidacy exam will be given early in the Ph.D. program to ensure that students attempting the Ph.D. program have the potential to successfully complete the research for their thesis in a reasonable length of time. A demonstrated ability to initiate and complete independent research is a principal requirement of the Ph.D.. This exam will consist of an oral defence of:

  • A written thesis proposal
  • A report on an assigned research area question

Courses

The Departmental requirements for the doctoral program are usually a minimum of six term-length graduate courses beyond the Bachelor's degree level, plus research and thesis. Only two of these six graduate level courses can be jointly offered (double-numbered) with an undergraduate course. The required courses must also include two of the following three term-length courses or their equivalent:

  • PHYS-831 or PHYS-832 (E&M) or an approved substitute from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering or the Royal Military College
  • PHYS-825 (Advanced Quantum Theory)
  • PHYS-870 (Statistical Mechanics)

In exceptional cases, subject to the approval of the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy proficiency in Quantum Mechanics at the level of PHYS-345 will be accepted in lieu of PHYS-825. The requirement of PHYS-825 for Ph.D. level students would thus be waived but the total course work requirement of the Ph.D. is not reduced. Up to four term-length courses may be taken from a department other than Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy, subject to the approval of the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy.

An Engineering Physics doctoral student will be required to take a minimum of four term-length graduate courses (or equivalent) beyond the Master’s degree course requirement. Students promoted from our Master’s program are required to take a minimum of six term-length graduate courses past completion of the B.Sc./B.A.Sc..

In addition to the above-mentioned courses, all Ph.D. students who were registered in September 2015 must participate in PHYS-901, a series of seminars to be presented by the Ph.D. students themselves. Ph.D. students will be required to present a seminar on their research area/problem in each of their second and third years of registration in the Ph.D. program. Also, all Ph.D. students must attend at least 2/3rds of these seminars in each of their first, second, and third years. (Students who are unable to attend this number of talks due to field work will be required to make alternative arrangements, to be approved by the Coordinator of the Physics 901 course.) In addition to the Ph.D. students in attendance at these seminars, the Coordinator of the Physics 901 course, the chair of the student’s supervisory committee, the student’s supervisor, and other interested faculty members will also be present. This course shall be given a Pass/Fail grade.

If either of the PHYS 901 Course Coordinator or the chair of the student’s supervisory committee judges that a student’s presentation is substandard, the student will be required to present another talk no later than one month after the regularly scheduled seminar, the audience for which will be determined by the PHYS 901 Course Coordinator and the student’s supervisory committee.