Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

3-5 years
Credit Hours:

42 (with Master's)72 (with Bachelor's)
Research the hidden workings of the universe - from the subatomic level to the cosmological scale.
Graduate students in the Department of Physics have the opportunity to train with state-of-the-art equipment in modern research laboratories. More than 60 full-time physics graduate students conduct research under the supervision of about 20 faculty members, making the UNT Physics Graduate program one of the largest in Texas.

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Why Earn a Physics Ph.D.?

UNT's Ph.D. in Physics offers graduate students the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment in modern research laboratories, such as:

  • Ion Beam Modification and Analysis Laboratory, containing four electrostatic accelerators and ancillary equipment to support studies of materials modification and analysis by ion beams
  • Optical Micro/Nanofabrication Laboratory, with instrumentation for development and fabrication of photonic and plasmonic devices and other nanophotonic structures
  • Precision Atomic Physics and Laser Laboratory, equipped for the development of precision laser light sources and their application to fundamental tests of quantum electrodynamics
  • Solid State Physics Laboratory, which is equipped for nanostructure synthesis and characterization and the development and study of nanoscale device applications
  • Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Photonics Laboratory, a laser-based laboratory where femtosecond pulsed lasers and continuous wave lasers are used to study materials properties
  • Computational Laboratory, a computer-based laboratory for the design, simulation, and calculation of materials structure and property.
  • Astrophysics Laboratory, which studies the physics in the space such as galaxies and universe evolution.
  • Student Research Laboratory, dedicated student labs equipped with a variety of instruments for materials characterization and simulations.

In addition, students have access to campus research facilities such as:

  • Materials Research Facility (MRF), equipped with an extensive suite of instruments for micro and nano characterization of materials and a Nanofabrication Analysis and Research Facility with a clean room for synthesis, processing and testing of materials and devices.
  • TALON, a high-performance cluster computing facility configured with 224 nodes and operating at speeds up to 20 teraflops
Marketable Skills
  • Manage complex research projects
  • Advanced research methodologies
  • Teamwork
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Perform effectively with minimal oversight

Physics Ph.D. Highlights

Students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-directed research that is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force, the Army Research Office, NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy and industrial partners.
There are numerous collaborative research opportunities involving interaction with scientists from prominent national institutions and Australia, Italy, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Spain and Mexico.
Most full-time students are supported with an assistantship or fellowship. Our department offers graduate teaching assistantships at three different levels ranging from $1,680 to $2,280 per month for nine months and summer employment possibilities. This aid is accompanied by an out-of-state tuition waiver and the possibility for a tuition remission grant.
Research assistantships also are frequently available for returning students. This aid is accompanied by an out-of-state tuition waiver and the possibility for competitive tuition remission grants.
Our students routinely author and co-author refereed publications in the professional literature. Students also regularly participate in national and international professional meetings, where they present their research results, begin establishing their reputations as scientists and develop important networks of contacts.
A friendly and supportive team spirit characterizes the physics research laboratories and classrooms.

Career Outlook

Students with a Ph.D. in physics may choose to work as faculty or research scientist in research and development divisions in industries, government research labs, and educational institutions.

Physics Ph.D. Courses You Could Take

Advanced Classical Mechanics I (3 hrs)
Variational principles and Lagrange’s equations. Central force problem. Rigid body motion. Hamilton’s equations; canonical variables and transformations; action-angle variables; Hamilton-Jacobi theory.
Quantum Mechanics I (3 hrs)
Fundamentals of quantum theory. Foundations of wave mechanics, wavepackets and the uncertainty principles. Schroedinger equation, one-dimensional problems, operators and eigenfunctions, three-dimensional problems, angular momentum and spin.
Atomic and Molecular Physics I (3 hrs)
Atomic, molecular structure; construction of the periodic table. Experimental basis. One-, few- and many-electron systems; Hartree-Fock, Thomas Fermi methods; inner and outer shell phenomena.
Advanced Quantum Theory (3 hrs)
Quantization of Dirac, Klein-Gordon fields, interactions, S-matrix theory, perturbation theory and applications.
Selected Topics in Theoretical Physics (3 hrs)
Advanced topics selected from areas of theoretical and mathematical physics, including relativity, field theory, elementary particles and the many-body problem.
Electromagnetic Theory I (3 hrs)
Maxwell’s equations, vector, scalar potentials; gauge transformations; wave equation; conservation theorems; boundary conditions; statics. Non-dissipative media and dispersion; dissipative media; reflection and refraction; guided waves.

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