Doctor of Philosophy in Physics with Dissertation in Atmospheric Physics

  •   Professors: Eilek, Krehbiel, Minschwaner, Raymond, Romero, Westpfahl (Chair of the Department), Winn
  • Associate Professors: Eack, Hofner, Sonnenfeld, Young
  • Assistant Professors: Creech-Eakman, Morales, Sessions
  • Adjunct Faculty: Avramidi, Balasubramaniam, Burcher, Colgate, Goss, Haniff, Klinglesmith, Manney, Meason, Myers, Pietraß, Rison, Rupen, E. Ryan, W. Ryan, Taylor, Teare, Thomas, Ulvestad, Weatherall
  • Emeritus Professors: Hankins, LeFebre, C. Moore, Schery,


Doctoral Programs

Students of exceptional ability as demonstrated in previous courses in physics and mathematics, or in the preliminary examination, may pursue a program leading to the doctoral degree. All applicants to the physics doctoral degree program must submit GRE general and physics subject test scores. 

The major doctoral programs of the Physics Department are in astrophysics and atmospheric physics. A degree in mathematical physics is offered in cooperation with the mathematics department. Students may also work in other areas of physics in which the department has expertise.

The following general requirements apply to all curricula: A minimum of 50 credit hours of graduate and upper-division courses approved by the student’s committee should be taken, of which 12 credit hours must be mathematics beyond that required of an undergraduate physics major. PHYS 501 and 502 (where required below) may be waived for those students who have completed the equivalent through an experimental master’s thesis. PHYS 579, Graduate-Faculty Seminar, must be taken for the first four semesters.

 Doctor of Philosophy in Physics

The following courses must be completed: PHYS 501 (1), 502 (1), 505 (3), 508 (3), 513 (3), 514 (3), 515 (3), 516 (3), and 579. In addition, nine credit hours of graduate physics should be completed in the student’s field of specialization. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Physics with Dissertation in Atmospheric Physics

Current areas of research in atmospheric physics are the dynamics and microphysics of clouds and mesoscale weather systems, geophysical fluid dynamics, dynamics of planetary atmospheres, thunderstorm electrification and lightning, atmospheric radioactivity, physics of the middle and upper atmosphere, precipitation mechanisms, and radar meteorology. Research facilities include an instrumented aircraft for thunderstorm penetrations, several meteorological radars, and Langmuir Laboratory, a mountaintop observing site. Also available are the observational and computer facilities of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

The following core courses must be completed:

  • PHYS 331 (3), 332 (3), 501 (1), 502 (1), 505 or 526 (3), 508 (3), 513 (3), 514 (3), 515 (3), 516 (3), and 579.
  • An additional six (6) credit hours must be taken in areas pertinent to the student’s program. This can be achieved by taking PHYS 532, PHYS 533, PHYS 535, PHYS 536, and/or other courses approved by the student’s advisory committee.