Physics PhD Collaborative
Overview of the Collaborative Program
This program establishes a collaboration between the Physics Departments at UH and
UHCL for the mutual benefit of both universities, their students, and the Clear Lake
Community. This joint effort unites the Master's program at UHCL with the PhD program
at UH. UH will award the PhD; UHCL supports the effort with its courses and research
opportunities. Select faculty at UH and UHCL hold joint appointments. This allows
them to ensure their students a smooth transition into the PhD program. All UHCL Physics
students are encouraged to apply to the UH Physics program before beginning graduate
level coursework in order to take advantage of this program.
UHCL Physics students pursuing a PhD can do so through the Collaborative UH/UHCL Physics
PhD program. Six UHCL Physics courses and their corresponding recitations PHYS 5311/5331:
Electrodynamics, PHYS 5411/5431: Classical Mechanics, PHYS 5511/5531: Mathematical
Methods in Physics I, PHYS 5611/5631 and 5612/5632: Quantum Mechanics I and II, and
PHYS 5711/5731: Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics will count towards PhD candidacy
at UH. A candidate must earn a grade of B or better in the class and on the final
exam. Students exploring this option must apply for PhD candidacy by applying and
being accepted into both the UHCL and UH physics programs. This should be done before
taking any graduate level physics courses in order to take advantage of this program.
Students accepted into the collaborative PhD program will be subject to the same requirements
as other PhD candidates in the UH Physics program. They will complete their PhD Thesis
under the advisement of a UH and UHCL faculty committee.
Physics Candidacy Certificate
Students completing the candidacy requirements for the Collaborative UHCL/UH Physics
Ph.D. Program are eligible to receive a physics candidacy certificate. This certificate
can be awarded to students independently of the Physics Master's Degree. A student
pursuing a certificate has the option of switching to the Physics M.S. degree program
at any time during his/her enrollment in the certificate program and can apply all
physics coursework taken towards the certificate to the M.S. degree. Qualified students
pursuing the Physics M.S. degree have the option of applying for the certificate once
the candidacy requirements are satisfied. This certificate does not imply any acceptance
into the UH Ph.D. program or the successful completion of all Ph.D. candidacy requirements
and is used primarily at UHCL to monitor the progress of students working towards
the Physics Ph.D. through our Collaborative Physics Ph.D. program.
Benefits of the program
Benefits to Students
- The first local PhD program available to full-time and part-time students
- Advanced training in Physics increases work-related proficiency for students
- Increased knowledge base improves job satisfaction
- Intellectual challenge for students
Benefits to the Clear Lake Community
- Accessibility of pertinent courses for JSC and petrochemical communities
- More PhDs available to local industry and JSC
- Connection to UH System for advanced research projects of benefit to the community
- Local PhD opportunities helps private and public institutions retain employees
Application to the Program
A candidate must earn a grade of "B" or better in the class and on the final exam.
Students exploring this option must be accepted into the Graduate Physics program
at UH for core courses to count toward candidacy. Therefore interested students should
apply for admissions to both the UHCL and UH physics programs before signing up for
Ph.D. candidacy courses. Students accepted into the collaborative Ph.D. program will
be subject to the same requirements as other Ph.D. candidates in the UH Physics program.
They will complete their Ph.D. thesis under the advisement of a UH and UHCL faculty
Core Requirements at UHCL
- PHYS 5331 Electrodynamics
- PHYS 5311 Recitation for Electrodynamics
- PHYS 5431 Classical Mechanics
- PHYS 5411 Recitation for Classical Mechanics
- PHYS 5531 Mathematical Methods I
- PHYS 5511 Recitation for Mathematical Methods in Physics I
- PHYS 5631 Quantum Mechanics I
- PHYS 5611Recitation for Quantum Mechanics I
- PHYS 5632 Quantum Mechanics II
- PHYS 5612 Recitation for Quantum Mechanics II
- PHYS 5731 Statistical Mechanics
- PHYS 5711 Recitation for Statistical Mechanics
Students will select advanced UHCL and UH courses to meet their professional goals
in consultation with their advisor. Many of these electives may be taken at either
UH or UHCL but final approval of electives that count towards the PhD is handled by
the Graduate Studies Committee.
UHCL MS Capstone
After completing the core courses and some electives, some students may choose to
finish the requirements of the UHCL MS program, while others may choose to move directly
into PhD level work without completing the MS. The choice of whether or not to complete
the degree depends on several factors. Currently, students who complete the MS at
UHCL are no longer considered degree-seeking students and are therefore ineligible
for financial aid on the UHCL campus. We are working to resolve this situation.
PhD Work at UH
Students must complete all PHD level work according to the standard rules of the UH
Physics Department. Visit http://www.phys.uh.edu/graduate/reqs-phd/index.php for a full description of these requirements.
Students in the program should be continuously enrolled at either UHCL or UH each
long semester until they complete their degree. After taking the core courses, all
students should select a research advisor and dissertation committee. The student
and advisor must jointly select the dissertation committee. The student must then
submit an oral presentation and research plan to the dissertation committee. The student
must also send annual progress reports to the dissertation committee. The student
must present an acceptable dissertation based on original research in Physics and
defend it orally before the dissertation committee. In addition, to complete the PhD,
students may be required to take additional courses under the request of their thesis
advisor. They may take these courses at UH or UHCL.
Students interested in this program must apply and be accepted into both the UHCL
and UH physics programs separately. The application standards of this committee will
be the same as those of the UH PhD admissions committee (visit http://www.phys.uh.edu/graduate/index.php for details). This process gives students access to both UHCL and UH courses, library,
labs, and other resources needed to successfully complete the PhD program.
Frequently Asked Questions
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High student and community demand. Between 2002 and 2004, the Physics program at UHCL
conducted four needs-assessment surveys. These surveys focused primarily on establishing
a Masters Degree in Physics at UHCL, but received dozens of unsolicited requests to
establish a Physics PhD program. In response to these requests. The department conducted
a fifth needs-assessment survey in the fall of 2006. The results of this survey showed
an overwhelming demand for the program.
Plan on spending 10-20 hours per week on each three credit-hour graduate class. This
program is designed for both full-time (nine credit hours per semester) and part-time
(fewer than nine credit hours per semester) students.
In addition to the five core courses required for the MS, a PhD candidacy also demands
a sixth course PHYS 5632 Quantum Mechanics II and one hour recitations for each core
course. Each core course (and its final exam) will count toward PhD candidacy in the
UH Physics program with a passing grade of B or better. Candidates can transfer some
UHCL advanced courses to UH for PhD credit. In addition, some UH faculty will offer
courses at UHCL.
If you choose to complete the MS at UHCL and not continue on with the PhD, nothing
will change. If you want to complete the PhD, you must apply and be accepted into
the UH physics program and pass the final exams in each core course (and recitation)
with a grade of B or better.
Students in this program can pursue research related to the scholarly interests of
any Physics faculty member at UHCL or UH.
UHCL students may apply for Financial Aid. In addition, a faculty grant funding program
offers some teaching and research assistantships.
We do not currently offer any core courses online. However, we do offer evening courses
and many of our advanced courses are taught between UH and UHCL using video conferencing
software. Faculty members occasionally teach daytime courses off campus.
This can vary, depending on whether a student completes the program part-time or full-time.
Typically, it takes two to three years to complete the MS (at UHCL), and another four
to six years to complete the PhD (at UH).
You will need to submit a complete UH application and submit all the needed materials,
following the same instructions as any other applicants. Please note that UH and UHCL
are different Universities. Applying to UHCL is not the same as applying to UH. In
order to be in the collaborative program a student must apply and be admitted to UH.
For more information please see http://phys.uh.edu/graduate/faq/index.php.