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​​The Department offers Ph. D. program in the following major areas of physics:
  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Nuclear Physics
Experimental or theoretical research can be pursued in any of the above areas.
The applicant must fulfill the KFUPM admission requirements set by the Deanship of Graduate Studies. The applicant should have a Masters’ degree in physics or related field from an institution of acceptable standing. The Department might ask the applicant to submit his score in GRE Subject Test in Physics. Each new student will take an entrance examination and any deficiency in his physics background must be removed within two semesters of admission into the graduate program
The Ph.D. program in physics requires the successful completion of 30 credit hours of course work, seminar, written and oral comprehensive exams, and a research dissertation with 12 credit hours.
The course work consists of core and elective courses. Core courses consist of five courses or 15 credit hours. Each of the three major areas has its own core courses that must be taken by all students specialized in the area. The core courses are as follows:
Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
PHYS 511 Quantum Optics
PHYS 551 Atomic and Molecular Physics
PHYS 608 Laser Spectroscopy
PHYS 611 Nonlinear Optics
PHYS 612 Laser Physics
Condensed Matter Physics
PHYS 532 Solid State Physics I
PHYS 536 Low Temperature Physics
PHYS 630 Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena
PHYS 632 Quantum Theory of Solids
PHYS 636 Semiconductor Device PhysicsI
Nuclear Physics
PHYS 520 Introduction to Strong Interaction
PHYS 521 Advanced Nuclear Physics I
PHYS 522 Advanced Nuclear Physics II
PHYS 523 Nuclear Instrumentation (3-0-3)
PHYS 621 Advanced Methods of Theoretical Nuclear Physics with Applications to Nuclear Models
The remaining five courses or 15 credit hours are elective. Two of the elective courses or six credit hours must be selected from one of the other two major areas. The remaining nine credit hours should comprise other graduate physics, math, science or engineering courses. These courses must be approved in advance by the Graduate Program Committee of the Department of Physics. The student will be required to take as elective courses Phys 571: Advanced Methods of Theoretical Physics (or equivalently Math 513: Mathematical Methods for Engineers) and Phys 530: Statistical Mechanics if he did not take these or equivalent courses during his M.Sc. degree.
The written comprehensive exam will be based on four selected graduate level courses in the major or minor areas of the student. The selection of these courses and the preparation of the exam are administered by the department graduate committee. The exam must be taken before the beginning of the fourth semester from the date of the enrolment into the Ph.D. program. A student has two chances to pass the written comprehensive exam. The second attempt must be no later than two semesters after the first attempt.
After successful completion of the written comprehensive examination, the student should formally select a dissertation advisor and should write his dissertation proposal. Following this, the student will be tested orally in his field of specialty to insure his readiness for scholarly research. The oral comprehensive exam must be taken within two semesters after the student has passed the written part of the comprehensive exam.
The student must submit and successfully defend a dissertation based on original and scholarly research conducted by him and judged to be a significant contribution to his area of specialization.
Since most of the Ph.D. graduates will be working at universities where teaching is an integral part of employment, therefore, every Ph.D. student is encouraged to participate in some form of teaching activity for at least one semester.