CHEMICAL PHYSICS PROGRAM

MS Non-Thesis Requirements

• Two laboratory rotations CHPH718I
• Written Qualifying Examination passed at the M.S. level
• B average
• Scholarly paper
• 30 graduate credits of which 24 must be course credits including:
  1. Advanced laboratory course
  2. Two credits of seminar, can be included in the non-course credits
  3. Advanced course at the 600 level or above
Rotations are eight weeks each, with student presentations about two weeks after the end of each rotation period. Students will be evaluated in part based on their presentations. The second rotation is scheduled to start early enough so by the time students are able to choose their summer research and possible thesis advisers.

The aims of the two rotations are to get to know research topic and tools used in various labs, to develop laboratory skills, and to find a thesis mentor. Rotations require a minimum 8 hour per week presence in lab/office. One of the rotations can be with a faculty/adjunct faculty outside the program. In-coming students will have the month of September to research and choose their first rotation.

The length of the presentation should be 10 - 15 minutes.

Rotation 1: Suggested time: Oct 1st - Nov 19th - Fall semester grade. Presentations - 2nd or 3rd week of February

Rotation 2: Suggested time: February 1 - Mar 26: Spring semester grade. Presentations - 2nd or 3rd week of April

The Scholarly Paper Examining Committee consists of at least two faculty members, who will read the scholarly paper and attend the oral presentation.

The paper should provide an informative review of the research topic selected by the candidate in consultation with his/her academic and research advisors. The bibliography is a particularly important part of the paper and should include the most significant references to the topic.

The length of the paper is expected to be approximately 20 double space pages (12-point font) with 1-inch margins.

The presentation is to last approximately one hour and can be part of regularly scheduled seminar series such as the Informal Statistical Mechanics Seminar or the Nonlinear Dynamics Seminar. Two faculty must be present and there should be sufficient time for questions and discussion.

MS Thesis Requirements

• Two laboratory rotations CHPH718I
• Written Masters Thesis
• B average
• Scholarly paper
• 30 graduate credits including:
  1. Six credits of CHPH799 - (M.S. thesis research)
  2. 24 course credits
  3. Two credits of seminar, can be included in the non-course credits
  4. Advanced laboratory course
  5. Advanced course at the 600 level or above


Rotations are eight weeks each, with student presentations about two weeks after the end of each rotation period. Students will be evaluated in part based on their presentations. The second rotation is scheduled to start early enough so by the time students are able to choose their summer research and possible thesis advisers.

The aims of the two rotations are to get to know research topic and tools used in various labs, to develop laboratory skills, and to find a thesis mentor. Rotations require a minimum 8 hour per week presence in lab/office. One of the rotations can be with a faculty/adjunct faculty outside the program. In-coming students will have the month of September to research and choose their first rotation.

The length of the presentation should be 10 - 15 minutes.

Rotation 1: Suggested time: Oct 1st - Nov 19th - Fall semester grade. Presentations - 2nd or 3rd week of February

Rotation 2: Suggested time: February 1 - Mar 26: Spring semester grade. Presentations - 2nd or 3rd week of April

The Scholarly Paper Examining Committee consists of at least two faculty members, who will read the scholarly paper and attend the oral presentation.

The paper should provide an informative review of the research topic selected by the candidate in consultation with his/her academic and research advisors. The bibliography is a particularly important part of the paper and should include the most significant references to the topic.

The length of the paper is expected to be approximately 20 double space pages (12- point font) with 1-inch margins.

The presentation is to last approximately one hour and can be part of regularly scheduled seminar series such as the Informal Statistical Mechanics Seminar or the Nonlinear Dynamics Seminar. Two faculty must be present and there should be sufficient time for questions and discussion.
The Thesis Examining Committee is to consist of at least three faculty members including the research advisor.

The Examination Committee will review the M.S. thesis, attend the oral presentation and participate in the defense of the thesis.

The thesis is to consist of an introduction to the field of research with which the student is engaged, a clear statement of the problem under study, the objectives of the research, the approach taken, original results, interpretation, discussion, and conclusions. A concise review of the literature, and a bibliography of the most important literature should also be included.

The M.S. thesis has no set length, but is typically 30 to 40 pages. The format of the thesis (font, margins, etc.) must follow the University of Maryland Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide.

Ph.D. Requirements

• Two laboratory rotations CHPH 718I
• Written Qualifying Examination passed at the Ph.D. level and normally taken at the beginning of the second year
• B average
• Scholarly paper research presentation
• 24 graduate course credits including:
  1. Two credits of seminar
  2. Advanced laboratory course
  3. Advanced course outside of the student's main field of study at the 600 level or above


Rotations are eight weeks each, with student presentations about two weeks after the end of each rotation period. Students will be evaluated in part based on their presentations. The second rotation is scheduled to start early enough so by the time students are able to choose their summer research and possible thesis advisers.

The aims of the two rotations are to get to know research topic and tools used in various labs, to develop laboratory skills, and to find a thesis mentor. Rotations require a minimum 8 hour per week presence in lab/office. One of the rotations can be with a faculty/adjunct faculty outside the program. In-coming students will have the month of September to research and choose their first rotation.

The length of the presentation should be 10 - 15 minutes.

The length of the presentation should be 10 - 15 minutes.

Rotation 1: Suggested time: Oct 1st - Nov 19th - Fall semester grade. Presentations - 2nd or 3rd week of February

Rotation 2: Suggested time: February 1 - Mar 26: Spring semester grade. Presentations - 2nd or 3rd week of April

In order to advance to Ph.D. candidacy, the student must submit a scholarly paper and make an oral presentation.

The paper and presentation are evaluated by a candidacy committee consisting of at least two faculty members, generally including the advisor and a member of the advisory committee.

Students with a well-developed thesis topic and research results are expected to include these results together with further research plans in their paper and presentation.

Students less far along with research will present background material and summaries of the research areas in which they will be working. A concise review of the literature is expected, along with a bibliography of the most important literature.

The length of the paper is expected to be between approximately 20 double space pages (12-point font) with 1-inch margins.

The paper is to be submitted to the candidacy committee at least two weeks before the date of the oral presentation.

The presentation is to last approximately 50 minutes and can be part of regularly scheduled seminar series such as the Informal Statistical Mechanics Seminar or the Nonlinear Dynamics Seminar. Two members of the candidacy committee must be present and there should be sufficient time for questions and discussion.

Within 12 to 18 months after beginning Ph.D. research, the student is to select a Ph.D. Thesis Examination Committee.
12 credits of CHPH899 (Ph.D. dissertation research, only available after advancement to Ph.D. candidacy)
Written Ph.D. dissertation. The format of the dissertation (font, margins, etc.) must follow the University of Maryland Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide.


Click here for GRADUATE SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS



Qualifying Examination
Students are usually advised to take the Qualifying Examination after their first summer, but some students require more than one year to prepare for the Qualifying Examination. Sample qualifying exam.

The written examination has two parts: Chemical Physics and Quantum Mechanics. The examination questions are based on the course material in Physics 622 (Quantum Mechanics I), Physics 623 (Quantum Mechanics II), Chemistry 684 (Chemical Thermodynamics), Chemistry 687, (Statistical Mechanics) and Chemistry 691(Quantum Chemistry), Physics 601 (Classical Mechanics) with optional questions based on the material in Physics 606 (Electrodynamics), and Chemistry 601 (Inorganic Chemistry). The examination is two half-days in length held at the same time and in the same place as the Physics Qualifying Examination.

The first day of the Qualifying Examination students choose either three or four questions from six questions that are based on the material in Physics 601, Physics 606, Chemistry 601, Chemistry 684, Chemistry 687, and Chemistry 691. On the second day the questions are identical to those on the Quantum part of the Physics Qualifying Examination.

The results of the Qualifying Examination are:
  1. Pass
  2. Conditional Pass with an oral examination
  3. Conditional Pass with conditions set by the Qualifying Examination Committee
  4. Fail
The purpose of the oral examination is to determine whether a student with satisfactory grades on most of the written examination but a deficiency in a limited area is qualified to pursue Ph.D. research without further course work or supplemental study. When the oral examination confirms the results of the written examination, the Qualifying Examination Committee, can propose remedies including additional course work, individual study, retaking portions of the written examination, or a second oral examination.

Research Advisor
It is essential that a student choose a research advisor soon after passing the Qualifying Examination and that this decision be made in a rational manner. It is now a requirement that all students interview at least three research advisors before coming to a final decision. There will be a form to be signed by the student and at least three faculty members. It is anticipated that students will choose research advisors in their second year.

PhD Oral Examination Committee
The Chemical Physics Committee has recommended that the Ph.D. Oral Examination Committee for each student be established once the student has passed the Qualifying Examination, joined a research group, and begun Ph.D. research. Normally this will be in the second year. The Ph.D. Oral Examination Committee members are to be chosen by the Director of the Chemical Physics Program in consultation with the student's research advisor. It is recognized that the composition of the Committee may change during the course of the student's research, but the existence of a Committee soon after Ph.D. research begins is an important advantage for the student. It is anticipated that members of the Committee will play an active role in the direction of research, the evaluation of the required scholarly paper, the preparation of the written Ph.D. thesis, and the Ph.D. Oral Examination.

PhD Oral Exam
At the March 14, 2002 meeting of the Chemical Physics Committee the form of the Ph.D. Oral Examination was discussed. The following guidelines have been formulated:
  1. It is strongly recommended that the candidate present a seminar on his/her Ph.D. research well in advance of the final Ph.D. oral examination. Seminars provide valuable experience in organizing results and speaking before and audience. Seminars by candidates also provide a way for the members of the examining committee to learn about the results of the Ph.D. research of the candidate in advance of receiving the written thesis and the Ph.D. oral examination.
  2. Before the examination begins there should be a meeting of the Examining Committee. This meeting is for the purpose of reviewing the record of the candidate and also for discussing issues relevant to the Ph.D. thesis and the examination.
  3. The examination should begin with a brief (15 to 20 minute) summary of the Ph.D. research by the candidate.
  4. The summary presentation portion of the examination is to be open to all members of the UMD community as well as outside visitors.
  5. During the course of the oral summary questions may be asked of the candidate by members of the examining committee. Members of the audience are not permitted to ask questions of the candidate.
  6. After the presentation, the members of the committee may ask the candidate questions.
  7. At any time during the course of the oral presentation or the subsequent question period the audience may be dismissed at the request of any member of the committee and the concurrence of the Chairman of the Committee.
  8. After the question period the committee undertakes its deliberations. No one other than the members of the committee may be present for the deliberations.
Full and Part-time Status
The Graduate School uses a unit system in making calculations to determine full-time or part-time student status. Please note that graduate units are different from credit hours. The number of graduate units per credit hour is calculated in the following manner:
  • Courses in the series: 000-399 carry 2 units per credit hour.
  • Courses in the series: 400-499 carry 4 units per credit hour.
  • Courses in the series: 500-599 carry 5 units per credit hour.
  • Courses in the series: 600-897 carry 6 units per credit hour.
  • Master's Research course: 799 carries 12 units per credit hour.
  • Pre-candidacy Doctoral Research courses: 898 carries 18 units per credit hour.
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research: 899 carries 18 units per credit hour.
All doctoral candidates must pay candidacy tuition for which they will be registered for six (6) credit hours of 899; this defines all currently registered doctoral candidates as full-time.

All doctoral candidates must pay the flat candidacy tuition for which they will be registered for six (6) credit hours of 899; this defines all currently registered doctoral candidates as full-time.

To be certified as full time, a graduate student must be officially registered for a combination of courses equivalent to 48 units per semester. Graduate assistants holding regular appointments have full-time status if they are registered for at least 24 units in addition to the assistantship; holders of half-time assistantships are considered full-time if registered for 36 units. Audited courses do not generate graduate units and cannot be used in calculating full-time or part-time status.

Typical Curriculum

First Year
Fall Semester
  1. Quantum Mechanics I (PHYS622)
  2. Methods of Mathematical Physics (PHYS604) or Classical Mechanics (PHYS601) or Structure and Bonding of Molecules and Materials (CHEM601)
  3. Thermodynamics (CHEM684) or Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (ENCH610)
  4. Ethics Course, Mandatory
First Year
Spring Semester
  1. Quantum Mechanics II (PHYS623)
  2. Statistical Mechanics I (CHEM687) or Electrodynamics (PHYS606) or Satistical Physics (PHYS603)
  3. Quantum Chemistry II (CHEM691)
First Year
Summer Semester
  1. Study for Qualifying Examination
  2. Advanced laboratory course (may also be taken in the second year)
  3. Qualifying Examination (week before the start of Fall classes)
Second Year
  1. Advanced laboratory course (if not taken during the summer of the first year)
  2. Advanced course
  3. Reading project or preliminary research qualifying for CHPH799 or CHPH898 credits
  4. Preparation of Scholarly Paper
  5. Oral Presentation
Third Through Fifth Years
  1. Admission to Candidacy
  2. Ph.D. Research
  3. Additional course work as recommended by thesis advisor
  4. Preparation of written doctoral thesis
  5. 12 credits of CHPH899
  6. Thesis oral defense
Deadlines for Graduate Students


Other Courses of Interest

Nanoparticle Aerosol Dynamics
Current Topics in Surface Physics
Mesoscopic Thermodynamics
Methods of Statistical Physics
Biophysical Chemistry
Nanometer Structure of Materials
Polymer Physics
Experimental Methods in Materials Science
Structural Determination Laboratory
Electromagnetic Theory I
Electromagnetic Theory II
Quantum Electronics I
Lasers and Electro-optic Devices
Capstone Design Project: Optical System Design
Optoelectronics Lab
Combustion and Reacting Flow
Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics
Viscous Flow
Hydrodynamics I
Computational Fluid Dynamics
Physics of Turbulent Flow
Analysis of Turbulent Flow
Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
Advanced Chemical Reaction Kinetics
The Science and Technology of Colloids and Nanostructures
ENME808M / CHEM608
CHPH718A
CHPH718E
CHPH718F
BCHM675
ENMA650
ENMA620
ENMA680
ENMA683
ENEE680
ENEE681
ENEE790
ENEE496
ENEE408E
ENEE486
ENME707
ENME640
ENME641
ENME642
ENME646
ENME656
ENME657
ENCH610
ENCH640
ENCH648C

University of Maryland   •   Chemical Physics Program   •   Physical Sciences Complex   •   College Park, MD 20742   •   301-405-4780