Admission Requirements for Ph.D. - University of Houston
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Admission Requirements for Ph.D.

Overview: Doctor of Philosophy in Physics

The Doctor of Philosophy in Physics degree (Ph.D.) signifies that the recipient has acquired a broad and in-depth knowledge of the discipline and has demonstrated research competence meeting the national standards. Students accepted for the program typically possess a four-year bachelor’s degree in physics or related fields.

Physicists are recognized for their ability to investigate secrets of the natural world through careful experimentation, theoretical modeling, computer simulations or a combination of these. The final goal being uncovering/validating/extending laws of nature. These skills acquired during the degree are highly valued not only in academia and research labs, but also by a variety of industries.

Our graduates have gained employment in academia as well as in research labs, industries and businesses in a wide range of areas including oil and gas, renewable energy, medical research, semiconductors (example: Intel Corporation), financial analysis, software/hardware development, and data science.

For more information about the program, visit the Physics Graduate Programs webpages.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are expected to have completed, or be in their last term of completing, a bachelor’s degree in physics or a related field, or a master’s degree, and have acquired a working knowledge of the basic areas of physics including mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism.

Applicants holding a three-year bachelor’s degree must have received or be in the final semester of finishing a master’s degree in physics.

The General GRE test is not required. Applicants have the option to submit scores from the General GRE examination taken in the last 5 years (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing). The advanced GRE is recommended, but optional.

International applicants have further documentation requirements, including proof of English language proficiency, described on the UH International Graduate Students webpage.

Admission to the program is competitive within the applicant pool. The Admissions Committee and the Department Chair will evaluate the credentials of each applicant for the Ph.D. program, considering a broad range of criteria, including:

  • Content of the undergraduate program and, if applicable, graduate program and grades earned, particularly in the areas of physics and mathematics.
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better in the last 60 hours.
  • Letters of recommendation from three (3) individuals (preferably faculty members), who are able to judge the candidate’s academic abilities and potential for scholarly research.
  • GRE scores, if available (see above).
  • Fulfilling the University’s English Language Proficiency Requirement.
  • Scientific, professional, technical publications and master’s thesis (if applicable).