Besides the course work required for the MS degree, PhD students are expected to undertake two directed research projects during their first two years, and present the results to the faculty both as a written report and an oral presentation. Students must pass the Qualifying Exam Assessment (which also serves as the Plan B MS degree final exam) by the end of their 5th semester in the astronomy graduate program.
Students entering the program with a master’s degree in a related field may advance to PhD candidacy after completing one year of course work with a minimum of 6 credits per semester (3 credits of astronomy graduate-level course work and at least three credits of ASTR 700-level seminars), successful completion of one ASTR 699 research project.
All students must pass the comprehensive exam, which takes the form of an in-depth review of the dissertation proposal, and achieve PhD candidacy by the end of their 6th semester in the astronomy graduate program. Finally, students must research, write, and defend a dissertation on a subject approved by their committee.