David D. Reid
Executive Officer & Senior Lecturer
Department of Physics, University of Chicago
5720 South Ellis Avenue, room 201-C
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Phone: 773-702-3067
E-mail (research): ddr.research@gmail.com
E-mail (UChicago): dreid@uchicago.edu

For Graduate Students

The purpose of this page is to provide a to-the-point reference of important department information for graduate students.

Please download and read the Information for Entering Graduate Students. Keep a copy for your reference.

This exam is offered every September as part of a new candidacy system adopted in 2014. Entering students are strongly encouraged to take the exam as it will allow them to place out of course they may not need to become a Ph.D. candidate. To learn more about our candidacy system follow this link.

For the PhD: You must complete Experimental Physics during your first year by taking one of the courses 334 or 335. Read more. You must pass 6 courses from among five Categories (A-E). At least one course must be from each of the Categories A, B, and C. You must take two courses from Category E. Category D is optional. Your GPA in the courses from Categories A-D must be 2.7 or higher with no grade less than "C". Category E courses may simply be passed with a "P".

  • Category A courses are 361, 366, and 367.
  • Category B courses are 363, 443, and 444, but only 443 or 444 can apply toward the requirement, not both.
  • Category C courses are 364, 371, and 372.
  • Category D courses are: 317, 353, 385, and 386.
  • Category E consists of all 400-level courses not explicitly excluded. Presently, only 443, 444, and 499 are excluded.

For the Masters degree: To obtain a Masters degree on route to your PhD. you must pass nine approved courses with a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Unless otherwise approved, six of the nine courses must be 334/335, 316, 322, 330, 341, and 352.

Once you have achieved candidacy and are certain with whom you will perform your dissertation research, you and/or your advisor should contact me to discuss forming your thesis committee. All graduate students are required to have a committees by the end of their second academic year. If you do not have a set thesis advisor by that time, the committee is considered to be a temporary committee which may change once you have an advisor.

The committee typically consist of four or five people, three of which must be Department of Physics faculty. Normally, there is to be one member of similar research style (theory or experiment) whose specialty is very different from yours and one member of opposite style whose specialty is related to yours. If your research advisor is not a faculty member in physics, a member of your committee who is on the department's faculty must be designated as your Department Sponsor.

Once your committee is formed you are required to have a first meeting by the end of the fall quarter of your third year. Thereafter, you must meet with your committee at least once per year until you graduate. Please contact Amy Schulz us to get the necessary paperwork. As you near graduation you should have a pre-oral meeting and a publicly advertised thesis defense. The pre-oral should take place about one quarter prior to your final defense. There are forms that must be filled out for these meetings.

You are required to write a thesis formatted according to university guidelines. The university no longer allows journal articles to substitute for a thesis nor does it recognize a distinction between a single-authored thesis and one done as part of a collaboration. However, such considerations may affect what goes into your thesis as determined by you and your committee. The Dissertation Office is fairly strict, so please learn their policies well in advance of your expected graduation and follow them. Read more. A paper based on your thesis research must be submitted to a quality peer-reviewed professional journal before you can graduate. The paper need not be accepted prior to graduation.

University of Chicago                                                                                                                                               Udated : December 2016