Oct 26, 2021  
University of Alberta Calendar 2021-2022 
University of Alberta Calendar 2021-2022

The Degree of PhD (Physics) [Graduate]

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete a minimum of ★6 in coursework and a thesis. Students entering with a BSc must complete the MSc course requirements (★12) in addition to the PhD course requirements.


  • At least two of PHYS 511 , PHYS 524  or PHYS 530  
    • If one of these courses was taken during the MSc, it will count towards this requirement
  • Coursework is to be selected in coordination with the supervisor, supervisory committee, and graduate chair, which may make additional requirements.


  • Registration in 900-level THES. When the course requirements are successfully completed, the student's research is presented orally and in written (thesis) form to an examining committee.

Seminar Presentation

Starting in the second year, each PhD student is required to present the results of their current research at least once per year at an appropriate venue (e.g. department or focus area seminar).

Candidacy Exam

PhD students must pass an oral candidacy examination in subjects relevant to their general field of research. Students entering the PhD program with a BSc are expected to pass their candidacy exam in the third year of their program. Students entering the PhD program with a MSc are expected to pass their candidacy exam in the second year of their program.

Ethics Requirement

Students must fulfill the FGSR Academic Integrity and Ethics Training Requirement  within the first year of their program.

Residence Requirement

The minimum period of residence is two academic years of full-time attendance at the University of Alberta.

Length of Program

The minimum time for completion of a PhD degree is three academic years of study and research after the Honors BSc degree or two academic years after the equivalent of the MSc degree at the University of Alberta. Normally the PhD degree is completed within five years of the BSc, or within four years of the MSc.

The maximum time to complete the thesis-based PhD program as set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research is six years.

Program extensions  may be granted in exceptional circumstances.