PhD program

The Physics PhD Program typically spans over four years. A PhD student is expected to carry out innovative and original work in a specialized area of physics, while working with a research supervisor. The supervisor is tentatively decided at the time of admission who also advises on the 18 credit hours of courses the student is required to enroll into as part of the PhD requirement. For the successful completion of the PhD degree the student is expected to have published in peer-reviewed ISI recognized international journals or prestigious conferences. Admission For admission to the PhD program, a student will have typically completed 18 years of education (an MS or M.Phil. in the Pakistani education system) in physics or allied areas. The admission will be based on:

  • Percentile score in GRE international physics test
  • SSE subject admission test if the above is unavailable at the time of application
  • Previous academic record
  • Letters of recommendation from nominated referees
  • Demonstrable evidence of research and scholarship through published research, theses, or other awards etc.

Qualifying Exam One year after admission, the student is expected to appear in a comprehensive qualifying exam having written and oral components. The expectation is that the student demonstrates a minimum level of competency in broad areas of physics, notably quantum mechanics, statistical physics, classical mechanics and electrodynamics. PhD Proposal Defense After eighteen months, the student is expected to present a PhD proposal and defend it before the supervisor and committee of experts other than the supervisor. Upon successful defense, the student will be registered as PhD candidate. PhD Defense Within four years of admission, the PhD candidate is expected to have demonstrated excellence in his area of research through publication of his work, or a new invention or innovation. The work culminates in the form of research dissertation that is examined by a committee of experts other than the supervisor and a final public defense. Credit Hour Requirements The PhD degree requires completion of 42 credit hours beyond the MS degree requirements. For the completion of the PhD degree, all requirements of the MS degree must be completed. The following restrictions apply on the 42 credit hours that will count towards the PhD degree beyond the MS requirements. At least 24 credit hours of Doctoral Thesis Research (DTR) units are required. The PhD degree requirements also include completion of at least 18 credit hours (6 courses of 3 units each) of 500+ level SSE graduate courses out of which 9 credit hours have to be PHY courses. However, independent studies, non-letter grade courses, seminar courses and research credits will not count towards this course requirement of 18 credit hours. Financials The PhD program is free for the student. In addition the student will receive a monthly stipend of at least Rs. 18,000 primarily raised by the supervisor. Some typical PhD courses Following is a tentative list of graduate level Physics courses that the Department will be offering depending on student interest. The list is not exhaustive and courses from outside this list may be offered.

  1. General Relativity
  2. Quantum Optics
  3. Photonics
  4. Advanced Quantum Mechanics
  5. Lie Groups and their Algebras
  6. Advanced topics in Condensed Matter Physics
  7. Spin Physics
  8. Quantum Field Theory
  9. String Theory
  10. Theoretical Foundations of Optics
  11. Nanophysics
  12. Experimental Techniques in Condensed Matter Physics
  13. Theory of Magnetism


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