Program Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy degree offered from Michigan State University is available to those who meet certain qualifications. After successfully completing this program, students will have shown their original contribution within the scientific field and proven their academic ability in this area. In order to apply to this program, students must have completed the requirements for both the university and the College of Natural Science. In addition, students should have finished physics and math courses that correspond to those required for an undergraduate major in physics with at least a 3.0 average GPA.

While in this program, a grade of 4.0 must be acquired on the qualifying exam based on physics courses taken in the first year of graduate school. These physics courses include classical mechanics, electrodynamics, statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics. Students must also complete one half-semester of teaching as well as present a dissertation based on the results of an original lab or theoretical investigation. If students do not have a master’s degree while applying to this program, they may still be admitted if they have 30 semester credit hours of approved work.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained while in this program.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Doctorate

    Delivery Format: Hybrid

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

    Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools


    Students must have completed physics and mathematics courses equivalent to those that are required for an undergraduate major in physics with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

    School Overview

    Founded in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, Michigan State University is the first land-grant university in the country and was originally an agricultural college. In 1861, the university changed its name to the State Agricultural College. Throughout the 20th century, the university experienced a time of great expansion. The then agricultural college began to build programs in education, business, medicine and many other areas of study becoming more than just an agricultural institution. In 1964, the university changed its name to its current designation of Michigan State University. 

    Michigan State University offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level as well as post-secondary certificates from 17 colleges and schools. Select academic programs are offered partially or totally online while others may be completed at off-campus locations across the state of Michigan.


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