Ph.D. Program

Admission and Financial Assistance

Students apply for admission to the program to the individual colleges. A bachelors degree in physics or related field is required with a 'B' average in physics and mathematics courses. However, other factors, such as letters of recommendation, and Graduate Record Examinations are required too. Students from non-English speaking countries are required to demonstrate proficiency in English via the TOEFL examination.

Most students who are admitted are financially supported by the Department of Physics at the College. Usually the student works as a Teaching Assistant for the first year or two and then as a Research Assistant afterwards. Prospective students should contact Professor Igor Kuskovsky for the application forms, Bulletin or any other inquiries.


Depending of the level of completion of work towards the Ph.D. degree and the number of credits carried, the annual tuition for New York State residents varies from $2,175 for first year students to $540 for those working on their dissertation. The tuition variation for out-of-state and foreign students is $3,800 to $1,080.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete 60 credits with a minimum overall B average, of which at least 30 credits must be taken at CUNY. Candidates must pass the first qualifying examination which is given in four parts; analytical mechanics, electromagnetic theory, quantum mechanics and general physics. A second examination must be taken in their prospective field of research. After a thesis proposal is approved, the students perform research, write the thesis and defend it. There are no foreign language requirements.


The following U600-level courses are given at Queens College, 45 hours per semester and 3 credits.

Phys. U601 Introduction to Mathematic Physics
Phys. U611 Analytical Mechanics
Phys. U615 Electromagnetic Theory
Phys. U621 Electronics
Phys. U625 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
Phys. U626 Atomic Physics and Quantum Mechanics
Phys. U635-636 Introduction to Modern Physics, I, II
Phys. U641 Statistical Physics
Phys. U645 Solid State Physics
Phys. U657 Introduction to Astrophysics
Phys. U671-672 Modern Physics Laboratory

The following U700-level and U800-level courses are given at the Graduate School of CUNY. Unless otherwise stated, all courses are 45 hours plus conferences per semester and 4 credits.

Phys. U701-702 Mathematical Methods in Physics, Each 60 hours
Phys. U711 Analytical Dynamics, 60 hours
Phys. U715-716 Electromagnetic Theory, Each 60 hours
Phys. U725-726 Quantum Mechanics, Each 60 hours
Phys. U730 Atomic Physics
Phys. U732 Optics
Phys. U734 Introduction to Relativity
Phys. U735 Nuclear Physics
Phys. U736 Particle Physics
Phys. U741 Statistical Mechanics
Phys. U743-744 Geophysical Hydrodynamics
Phys. U745 Solid State Physics
Phys. U748-749 Theory of Relativity and Gravitation
Phys. U750-751 Plasma Physics
Phys. U757 Astrophysics
Phys. U758 Galactic Physics, I (Theoretical Aspects)
Phys. U759 Galactic Physics, II (Observational Aspects)
Phys. U760 Cosmology
Phys. U771-773 Graduate Physics Laboratory
Phys. U812 Continuum Mechanics
Phys. U825-826 Advanced Quantum Theory
Phys. U835-836 Theoretical Nuclear Physics
Phys. U845-846 Theoretical Solid State Physics
Phys. U847 Stellar Physics
Phys. U848 Stellar Evolution
Phys. U849 Advanced Theory of Gravitation
Phys. U851-859 Selected Topics in Advanced Physics, Each up to 45 hours plus conferences, up to 4 credits

Phys. U900 Dissertation Supervision, 1 credit

Research Specialties

Doctoral research in experimental and theoretical physics takes place mainly at the four senior colleges in the program. Research opportunities are also available at some other colleges of the university. Students are free to choose a thesis mentor from the wide diversity of the doctoral faculty research interest at CUNY.

At Queens College the research opportunities are:


Condensed Matter Physics. Sputtering and pulsed laser deposition and characterization of magnetic films. Properties of surfaces and thin films. Microwave propagation in disordered dielectric materials. X-ray and neutron diffraction of thin films. Wide bandgap materials. Optical properties of nanostructured materials. CadieuGenackKuskovsky, 1 postdoctoral fellows.

Optics. Lasing materials, photonic bandgaps, light scattering in random media. Genack.

Polymer Physics. Diffusion, adhesion, wetting, rheology, SIMS/XPS characterization of polymer interfaces. Schwarz.

Materials Science. Metal/semiconductor interfaces. Characterization of glasses and ceramics. Thin-film depth profiling. CadieuSchwarzKuskovsky.



Condensed Matter Physics.  Theory of localization; wave propagation in random media; polariton propagation and localization in impure crystals; random heterostructures and superlattices; resonant photonic structures. DeychLisyansky.

Quantum Optics and Nanoplasmonicss. Raman scattering; lasers; spasers. Lisyansky.

Research specialties in experimental and theoretical physics in other branches of the university are available in the fields: Applied Physics, Astrophysics, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Biophysics, Chemical Physics, Computational Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Electromagnetism, Elementary Particles and Fields, Fluids, General Relativity, Low-Temperature Physics, Material Science, Mathematical Physics, Medical/Health Physics, Nuclear Physics, Quantum Optics, Polymer Physics, Statistical and Thermal Physics.

Seminars in experimental and theoretical physics are held at Queens and at other colleges of CUNY as well as neighboring institutions.