Graduate Programs Introduction

For all questions regarding Graduate Program please contact the program Director Dr. James MacDonald, jimmacd@udel.edu

Doctoral candidates assemble on the stage of the Thompson Theatre for the hooding ceremony.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers graduate programs leading to the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees. The 2010 NRC ranking which is the most prestigeous ranking in the US, ranks us among to the top 50 programs in the country. The Department is located in Sharp Laboratory, which houses a physics library, research and teaching laboratories, excellent machine and electronics shops and ample of advanced computing facilities.
 
Research opportunities:
A graduate physics education should stimulate intellectual excitement and instill the knowledge, skills, confidence, independence, and versatility needed for a successful career in either the sciences and other quantitative or technical fields. Essential to this goal is a talented, enthusiastic, and imaginative faculty committed to the professional development of graduate students. Graduate Program faculty and students are involved in a variety of experimental, theoretical, and computational research activities. In-house experimental research laboratories are well equipped for studies of condensed and molecular matter. Off-campus research activities involve high altitude balloon flights, a worldwide network of neutron monitors, and cosmic ray and solar observatories in Antarctica. Faculty and students also conduct research at national laboratories, both in the U.S. and abroad, and make use of a variety of ground- and space-based astronomical observatories.
 
How do beginning graduate students select an adviser:
Beginning graduate students have ample opportunity to learn about faculty research in much greater detail through a faculty research seminar PHYS600 given during the Fall semesters of their first year. In addition, informal discussions with more senior graduate students are useful in determining both an area and an adviser for research.
 
Colloquium and Seminars:
Essential to the vitality of the Departmental research effort is an extensive Seminar and Colloquium program in which visitors from other universities and laboratories, foreign and domestic, discuss frontiers of research.
 
Teaching Assistants:
Nearly all graduate students in the program are at some point or another supported as Teaching Assistants. Valuable information about being a Teaching Assistant can be found in the TA Handbook, issued by the Center for Teaching Effectiveness. This handbook also provides a convenient summary of University policies that apply to the appointment of graduate teaching assistants.
 
Research Assistants:
Graduate students after their fifth semester in the program are supported by a research group as Research Assistants. In addition to standard research groups run by individual faculty, the Department also hosts five Research Centers (Bartol Research Institute, Center for Spintronics and Biodetection, Delaware Asteroseismic Research Center, Center for Advanced Magnetics, and Center for Space Radiation Effects) which allow qualified students to become Research Assistants during their first year in Delaware.