Admissions Requirements & Study Framework - Direct Program

updated: 12.09.2021

Admissions to the Direct PhD Track

For students working toward an MSc degree

Admission to the direct track is open to students with outstanding academic achievements studying toward their MSc degree in the School of Physics and Astronomy, who comply with the following:

  • Completed their BA in physics with a final minimum grade of 85.

  • Students who have completed the three core courses Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics,  Advanced Quantum Physics, and Advanced Classical Physics with a minimum average final grade of 85.

  • MA students who have completed 18 credit hours by the end of the third semester of their studies (including core courses) with a minimum grade average of 85.

  • Agreement of a faculty member approved by the division research student committee to serve as advisor.


Students will be granted the status of "stage 1 research student in the direct track" once all of the above have been completed. This decision must be approved by the division committee and the university committee. 


Studies in the Direct Track (from MA to PhD)

  1. The student must complete the number of credit hours required for the MA degree before submitting the research proposal.

  2. The total number of credit hours required in the direct track will be the same as the number of hours required for the MA and the PhD.

  3. The student must submit and be tested on the research proposal before the beginning of the fifth semester of studies from the date of the beginning of MA studies.

  4. The exam on the research proposal will assess the student's knowledge of physics and the scope and feasibility of his or her research proposal. The examining committee will be composed of the advisor and three faculty members authorized to advise research students.

  5. Success on the exam on the research proposal will exempt the student from one MA seminar and will allow the student to continue to stage 2.

    1. The examining committee will forward its recommendation to the division committee.

    2. Once the division committee and the university committee pass their approval, the student will officially be accepted as a stage 2 research student.

  6. In the direct track to the PhD, the student will be granted the MA degree without submitting a thesis paper, after completing all MA requirements and after approval of the research proposal.

  7. Should a student prefer to submit an MA thesis paper while in the direct track, he or she may do so no later than the middle of the fifth semester of his studies. This paper may be composed of scientific articles as detailed in the item "final paper" in the chapter on "Studies in Physics for the MA Degree."

  8. Eighteen months after the student has been awarded stage 2 status, he or she must submit a progress report to the division committee. If during this period the student has published an article as a first author, this will be considered the progress report.


Requirements during Studies

  1. The student must participate in seven credit hours of advanced courses offered in the school. The seven hours must include one research seminar, during which the student must give a lecture on his research topic.

  2. The student must comply with supervision requirements as determined by the advisor.


Return to MA Studies while Studying in the Direct Track

The student may leave the direct track to the PhD and return to MA studies at any stage of his or her studies. The student will submit the MA thesis as per the MA regulations of the School of Physics. 

A student who withdraws from the direct PhD track after the research proposal has been approved, and who has completed all requirements for the MA will be entitled to the MA degree in the non-thesis track.


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