Lead Transformative Research to Gain Insight into the Mysteries of Our Universe and Solve Societal Problems
If you want to participate in innovative research in areas such as quantum theory, astro-particle physics, cyber physics, optics, or medical imaging, or enhance your understanding across disciplines to teach at the university level, the doctoral program in physics at the University at Albany will prepare you with the skills and technical acumen to be an authority in the field.
Acquire advanced proficiency in theoretical, experimental and computational physics from string theory and particle physics to computational optical modeling and imaging. Explore creative solutions to challenges facing the modern physical world and strengthen your expertise through fieldwork to prepare for careers like astrophysicist, data scientist and research physicist.
Program of Study
The core curriculum will solidify your intimate understanding of physics, while elective courses and research areas spanning cosmology, quantum mechanics, robotics and medical imaging will allow you to customize your education.
Demonstrate your knowledge and intellectual growth through a dissertation for an opportunity to discuss and present your original, significant contribution to physics.
A minimum of 60 credits with an average grade of B or higher on both overall and on core courses is required.
Core Courses (24 credits)
- Statistical Mechanics
- Classical Mechanics
- Electrodynamics 1
- Electrodynamics 2
- Quantum Mechanics 1
- Quantum Mechanics 2
- Computational Methods
Electives (12-33 credits)
At least four letter-graded graduate courses with an average grade of B or higher in physics, or in other fields as approved by the physics graduate studies committee. Sample courses:
- Introduction to General Relativity
- X-Ray optics, Analysis and Imaging
- Quantum Field Theory
- Particle Physics
- Introduction to Cosmology
Research (3-24 credits)
Research as approved by the advisor.
- Introduction to Research Problems in Physics (for students who have not advanced to candidacy)
- Research in Physics (for doctoral candidates who have not met the credit requirement)
- Doctoral Dissertation (1 credit minimum)
Transfer or Advanced Standing Credit
Up to 30 credits of core and elective courses may be transferred from another institution as approved by the physics Graduate Studies Committee (GSC).
The comprehensive examination is a set of three three-hour exams on classical, statistical-thermal, and quantum physics.
Demonstrated proficiency in an area such as:
- Foreign language
- Computer programming
- Computational Methods course
Full-Time Study in Residence
(12 credits, or 9 for a research assistant) You must engage in full-time study in at least one session after admission to the advanced program to sustain a period of intensive intellectual growth.
Your dissertation is expected to represent a significant and original contribution to physics. The dissertation research must be publicly presented, and approved by your research committee, the department and the university. Past Dissertations
Study with faculty who are highly active in research in areas such as information and computational physics, biophysics, quantum mechanics, particles, robotics and medical imaging. You can examine autonomous robots that explore space or the structure of electronic spectra.
Take advantage of relationships with CERN on the ATLAS experiment, the high-profile LUX/LZ Dark Matter searches, the study of string theory and electron analysis.
Translate this research experience into career preparation by publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals and making presentations at international conferences.
Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research
- Students will demonstrate the ability to review and present relevant background literature
- Students will demonstrate a mastery of advanced concepts