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Department of Physics Graduate Programs

Master of Science in Physics

The thesis based Master of Science degree is designed to provide graduate education for those persons who seek the master's as the terminal degree or seek to pursue the master's en-route to a doctoral degree in physics. The applicant to the program is expected to have a baccalaureate degree in physics, engineering, a related field, or equivalent experience. Students are required to complete a minimum of 18 hours of required courses, nine (9) hours of approved electives and three (3) hours of thesis research. Students prepare and defend a Master's thesis in partial fulfillment of requirements for graduation from the program. The admission and completion requirements are the same as those of the Graduate College.

Depending on the background of the incoming student, the Medical Physics concentration program is a 2-3 year program consisting of courses, clinical "rotations", and hands-on research. A grade of "B" or better is required for all core courses. There is a prerequisite interview for all clinical rotations. The program was designed to conform to guidelines established by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educations Programs (CAMPEP), and prepare students for eventual certification by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) in Radiological Physics or one or more of its many specialty fields, including Medical Nuclear Physics, Diagnostic Radiological Physics, and Therapeutic Radiological Physics. Prerequisite undergraduate courses include quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, mechanics, anatomy and physiology. Applications will be reviewed individually, and additional courses to the basic program may be suggested.

Master of Science Curriculum - Physics
Requirement Description Credit Hours
Physics 601 Mathematical Physics I 3
Physics 605 Theoretical Mechanics 3
Physics 607 Electromagnetic Theory I 3
Physics 611 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics 3
Physics 613 Quantum Theory I 3
Physics 616/617 Research 3
Physics 681 Thesis 3
Electives Approved electives in physics and related areas. 9
TOTAL: 30



Master of Science in Physics - Medical Physics Emphasis — More Infomation »

Depending on the background of the incoming student, the Medical Physics concentration program is a 2-3 year program consisting of courses, clinical "rotations", and hands-on research. A grade of "B" or better is required for all core courses. There is a prerequisite interview for all clinical rotations. The program was designed to conform to guidelines established by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educations Programs (CAMPEP), and prepare students for eventual certification by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) in Radiological Physics or one or more of its many specialty fields, including Medical Nuclear Physics, Diagnostic Radiological Physics, and Therapeutic Radiological Physics. Prerequisite undergraduate courses include quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, mechanics, anatomy and physiology. Applications will be reviewed individually, and additional courses to the basic program may be suggested.

Master of Science Curriculum - Medical Physics Emphasis
Requirement Description Credit Hours
Core
Physics 601 Mathematical Physics I 3
Physics 605 Theoretical Mechanics 3
Physics 607 Electromagnetic Theory I 3
Physics 611 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics 3
Physics 613 Quantum Theory I 3
Other Required
Physics 616/617 Research 3 - 6
Physics 624 Physics of Medicine 3
Physics 625 Diagnostic Imaging 3
Physics 626 Nuclear Medicine 3
Physics 627 Radiation Therapy Physics and Dosimetry 3
Physics 628 Health Physics Radiation Protection 3
Physics 629 Radiation Biology 3
Physics 630 - 632 Clinical Rotations I - II - III 12
Physics 681 Thesis 3
Physics 707 Advanced Nuclear Physics I 3
Physics 714 Radiation and Detectors 3
TOTAL: 57 - 60



Doctor of Philosohpy Degree in Physics

The goals of the Ph.D. program in Physics at Hampton University are (1) to establish a research oriented environment in which students may study advanced topics in physics beyond the master's level, participate in state-of-the-art-research and pursue original ideas and concepts that contribute to the body of knowledge in physics; (2) to provide a source of scientifically and technologically trained personnel for local, state and national needs; and (3) to significantly impact the number of underrepresented minorities with advanced degrees in physics. High energy, medical, nuclear, optical, and plasma physics are the areas of research emphasis for the degree. Core requirements are the same for all tracks. Students are able to select the desired track by pursuing advanced courses and the dissertation in one of these areas. In all cases, the degree awarded is the Doctor of Philosophy.

Admission

Students at either the post-baccalaureate level or post-master's level who seek admission to the Ph.D. program are subject to all the rules and regulations applied by the Graduate College. Modification or additional regulations are given in the following sections. Admission to the doctoral program requires an undergraduate or master's degree in physics or a closely related field. Applicants who do not already hold an appropriate master's degree must have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test is required. Applicants who do not already hold the appropriate master's degree must obtain the minimum acceptable GRE scores on the verbal and quantitative sections of 150 and 146, respectively.

Degree Requirements

The Physics Ph.D. program at Hampton University requires a minimum of 74 credit hours of course work beyond the baccalaureate level. The student is required to pass the doctoral qualifying examination (1 credit hour), a minimum of 24 credit hours of core physics courses (a grade of "B" or better is required in each core course), a minimum of 36 hours of dissertation research, 12 credit hours of approved 700 level courses, completion of a written dissertation and oral defense of that work (1 credit hour). There are no departmental foreign language requirements for the doctoral degree. A residency of two consecutive years of full-time study is required. All students must complete a minimum of one course as a supervised teaching assistant. Students must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. within seven (7) years after successfully passing the Doctoral Qualifying Examination.

The Doctoral Qualifying Examination

The student must be enrolled in Physics 703, have permission of the Department and the Graduate College, and be in good standing to take the Doctoral Qualifying Examination. A Qualifying Examination Committee, selected from the graduate physics faculty, is charged with monitoring the construction, implementation and grading of the Qualifying Examination. The examination is given in four parts. These cover (1) Classical Mechanics, (2) Electricity and Magnetism, (3) Quantum Mechanics and (4) Thermodynamics, Statistical Physics and Mathematical Physics. The examination covers graduate (500 and 600) level work in these areas. The examination is administered twice per year (January-September). All required parts of the test must be taken during the first administration of the examination. Each part of the test will be approximately two to four hours in length. Grading will be conducted by members of the Qualifying Examination Committee and other physics graduate faculty. Each part of the examination will be scored separately; therefore, it will be possible to satisfactorily complete only parts of the test.

A student will be permitted to take the examination twice. A student who enters the program without an appropriate master's degree must take the examination by the end of his/her second year in the doctoral program and must satisfactorily complete the examination no later than the end of the third year. A student who enters the program with an appropriate master's degree must pass the examination by the end of the first year of residence. Students who do not successfully pass the doctoral qualifying examination may transfer to the master's degree program and receive a master's degree after completing the master's thesis. If a student already has a master's degree in physics, this option does not apply.

Transfer Credit Limitations

A student who enters the doctoral program who already holds an appropriate master's degree may have up to 27 credit hours of the doctoral degree required core courses waived at the discretion of the Department. A student who enters the doctoral program with prior graduate work, but who does not hold the master's degree, may transfer up to nine (9) credit hours of core courses toward the doctoral degree requirements. The program is designed to be flexible enough to be adjusted to the appropriate needs of the students. Doctoral physics students may be eligible to take certain courses in the Virginia Physics Consortium (VPC). The VPC is an ongoing partnership between Virginia institutions and the Thomas-Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. Students wishing to take courses through the VPC must receive approval from both the Physics Department Chairperson and the Dean of the Graduate College.

The Doctoral Dissertation

Each student is required to plan and carry out an extended plan of original research that leads to a doctoral dissertation and then defend the dissertation. The oral defense of the dissertation is also a test of the student's knowledge of physics in the area of specialization. The dissertation committee (appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College upon recommendation by the Department) consists of a minimum of 4 members, at least one of whom will be outside of the Department. The Dissertation Committee will have the responsibility of administering the Final Comprehensive Examination as part of the oral defense and may specify additional requirements that the student must meet in order to satisfy requirements for the degree. If the student fails to satisfactorily complete this oral examination, it may be retaken once at the discretion of the Dissertation Committee.

Doctor of Philosophy Curriculum - Physics
Requirement Description Credit Hours
Core *
Physics 601-602 ** Mathematical Physics I - II 6
Physics 605 Theoretical Mechanics 3
Physics 607-608 Electromagnetic Theory I - II 6
Physics 611 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics 3
Physics 613-614 Quantum Theory I - II 6
Physics 703 Ph.D. Qualifying Examination 1
Other Required
Physics 7 *** Advanced Elective Courses 12
Physics 791 Dissertation Research 36
Physics 798 Final Comprehensive Examination 1
TOTAL: 74
* Note that a grade of "B" or better is required in each core course.
** PHY 602 is not required in the Core for the Medical Physics Emphasis
*** A minimum of 12 credit hours must be selected from courses numbered PHY 704 through 791 within the area of the student's specialization and which are approved by the department or dissertation committee chairperson. Additional courses may be required at the discretion of the dissertation committee.



Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Physics with Emphasis in Medical Physics — More Infomation »

Depending on the background of the incoming student, this is a 4-5 year program consisting of courses, clinical "rotations", and hands-on research. A grade of "B" or better is required for all core courses. There is a prerequisite interview for all clinical rotations. Students prepare and defend a doctoral thesis in partial fulfillment of requirements for graduation from the program. The doctoral degree recipient must pass the Physics Department qualifying examination. If a student can demonstrate proficiency in certain subjects by passing the qualifying examination, the courses in those subjects can be waived at the discretion of the Department.

The program was designed to conform to guidelines established by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP), and prepares students for eventual certification by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) in Radiological Physics or one or more of its many specialty fields, including Medical Nuclear Physics, Diagnostic Radiological Physics, and Therapeutic Radiological Physics.

Prerequisite requirements: baccalaureate degree in physics, engineering, a related field, or equivalent experience. Prerequisite undergraduate courses: quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, mechanics, anatomy and physiology. A graduate course in anatomy and physiology (BIO 609) maybe required for certification. Applications will be reviewed individually, and additional courses to the basic program may be suggested.

Doctor of Philosophy Curriculum - Medical Physics Emphasis
Requirement Description Credit Hours
Core *
Physics 601 Mathematical Physics I 3
Physics 605 Theoretical Mechanics 3
Physics 607-608 Electromagnetic Theory I - II 6
Physics 611 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics 3
Physics 613-614 Quantum Theory I - II 6
Physics 703 Ph.D. Qualifying Examination 1
Other Required
Physics 624 Physics of Medicine 3
Physics 625 Diagnostic Imaging 3
Physics 626 Nuclear Medicine 3
Physics 627 Radiation Therapy Physics and Dosimetry 3
Physics 628 Health Physics Radiation Protection 3
Physics 629 Radiation Biology 3
Physics 630 - 633 Clinical Rotation I – II – III - IV 16
Physics 707 Advanced Nuclear Physics I 3
Physics 714 Radiation and Detectors 3
Physics Elective Advanced Physics Elective chosen from PHY 719, 735, 736, or 743 3
Physics 791 Dissertation Research 10 - 15
Physics 798 Final Comprehensive Examination 1
TOTAL: 76
* Note that a grade of "B" or better is required in each core course.
** PHY 602 is not required in the Core for the Medical Physics Emphasis.