Physics (PhD)

Degree: Doctoral Degrees

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The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers graduate work leading to the MS and PhD degrees in physics. The major research in the department is conducted in the following fields: astrophysics, atomic and molecular physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, statistical mechanics, optics, relativity, high energy physics, and mathematical physics. Experimental research is conducted in on-campus laboratories for atomic and molecular physics, laser spectroscopy of solids, and material synthesis. Research involving the application of computer simulational techniques to astrophysics, condensed matter physics, material science, and high energy physics is conducted at the Center for Simulational Physics. Experimental research in intermediate-energy nuclear physics is performed at off-campus accelerator laboratories in the U.S., France, Canada, and Japan. Astronomical research is conducted with the facilities of the National Radio and Optical Observatories, and those of NASA. Research in the above areas is aided by the campus computing facilities.

Prospective students desiring financial aid should submit all application material by February 15. No foreign language is required for the master's or doctoral degrees.


Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
Old College
Athens, GA 30602-1732
Phone: 706/542-3400

Academic Department

Physics and Astronomy
Physics Building
Athens, GA 30602-2451
Phone: 706/542-2472


Graduate Coordinator

Loris A. Magnani


The University of Georgia Department of Physics and Astronomy offers comprehensive graduate degrees at both the masters and doctorate levels. Both degree programs have two main goals: achieving a broad background in physics or physics and astronomy through coursework and seminars, and developing independent research skills through the completion of an original thesis project.

Graduate students in this department are actively engaged in frontier research with their faculty mentors, publishing articles in the top physics and astronomy journals and presenting their work at national and international conferences. At present, the department has active experimental, theoretical, and computational research programs in a wide range of areas, including astronomy and astrophysics; atomic, molecular, and chemical physics; computational physics; condensed matter and statistical physics; and nuclear and elementary particle physics; nanotechnology; and biophysics. The department has numerous state-of-the-art computational and experimental research facilities. In addition, the department is home to the Center for Simulational Physics. Several faculty members work in nanoscale technology, collaborating with faculty from other disciplines at the UGA NanoSEC. Several other interdisciplinary research efforts in the department involve ongoing collaborations with researchers in other UGA departments, including Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Genetics, Geology, Instructional Technology, Physiology, and Statistics.

All graduate students must fulfill specific degree requirements. At the masters level, students must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average and take eight graduate-level courses, including at least three of the following four courses: Methods of Mathematical Physics I, Classical Mechanics I, Quantum Mechanics I, and Advanced Electromagnetic Theory I. To complete their degree, masters students must successfully defend a written thesis based on original research.

At the doctoral level, students must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average and take 6 courses Methods of Mathematical Physics, Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics I & II, Electromagnetic Theory, and Statistical Mechanics. Students are also required to earn 6 credits of PHYS 8990 (Introduction to Research) and 2 credits of PHYS 6000 (Colloquium), the details of which are given in the Graduate Student Handbook. In addition, all doctoral students must satisfactorily complete both a written and an oral comprehensive exam. The written exam covers material considered part of the typical undergraduate physics curriculum, whereas the oral exam has a somewhat tighter focus, centering on a timely topic selected by the student's advisory committee. To complete their degree, doctoral students must successfully defend a written thesis based on original research.

In the Department of Physics and Astronomy, we pride ourselves on the nurturing environment we provide for our graduate students through close interactions between students and faculty. We achieve this goal by maintaining a student-to-faculty ratio between one and two. As a result, we are able to address the needs of each student on an individual basis. Upon earning their degree, our students are well trained for careers in diverse areas, including basic and applied research, teaching, high-tech industry, and business. To illustrate this point, visit our Alumni page and see what our former students are doing now.



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