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The goals of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the graduate level include:
1. Being the largest producer in the country of African American physicists at the doctoral level;
2. Being the premiere program of its size in the country within a few selected areas of physics.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Howard University has offered the baccalaureate degree since the early 1920's. The department first offered the Master of Science degree in the early 1930's and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the early 1960's. The department currently has a full time faculty of 19 members, 47% of whom are African Americans. In the mid 1990's undergraduate enrollment averaged 20 students per year and graduate enrollment averaged about thirty (30). Over the years the programs have produced 78 Ph.D. graduates in physics and about 185 masters students. Approximately 70% of the doctorate and 75% of the masters graduates have been students in groups that have been traditionally under-represented in the field of physics.
The Core courses in the Graduate Physics programs are as follows:
PHYS-210/211 (Classical Mechanics I&II),
PHYS-214/215 (Electromagnetic Theory I&II),
PHYS-220/221 (Quantum Mechanics I&II) and
PHYS-222 (Statistical Mechanics I).
Students must make a grade of "B" or better in each of these courses that is required for their degree or plan of study.
The level of preparation for students entering the graduate program is as follows:
Reitz, Milford and Christy, Electricity and Magnetism;
Jenkins and White, Optics;
Tipler, Atomic Physics.
Entering graduate students should have completed the equivalents of physics courses:
PHYS-175 (Thermodynamics, 1 - semester),
PHYS-176 (Optics, 1 semester),
PHYS-178/179 (Electricity and Magnetism - 2 semesters),
PHYS-182/183 (Physical Mechanics - 2 semesters),
PHYS-190/191 (Quantum Physics - 2 semesters),
PHYS-192/193 (Introduction to Mathematical Physics - 2 semesters),
PHYS-194/195 (Experimental Physics - 2 semesters), and
PHYS-196 (Senior Thesis).
Graduate Degree Requirements
Students should consult the Department and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) for other requirements not indicated in this document. Official information for degree requirements is given in the Graduate Bulletin and the publication "GSAS - Rules and Regulations for the Pursuit of Academic Degrees"