The candidate must accumulate a total of 32 credit hours by completing a program of courses approved by the Department. This program depends on the candidate’s preparation and special interests, but will normally include:
There is no thesis requirement.
Comprehensive Exam Requirement
The candidate must take the Ph.D. qualifying exam. This exam deals with the undergraduate material, the content of the first-year graduate courses and colloquia. There are two possible outcomes of the qualifying exam: pass or not pass at the Ph.D. level. Passing at the Ph.D. level satisfies the exam requirement for an M.S. degree. Otherwise, the Physics faculty will consider the qualifying exam score, along with academic performance in course work and research performance (if any), in order to determine whether the standards for a Master of Science degree are met. A student is granted two attempts to pass the qualifying examination; further attempts may be allowed by the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee on the basis of a petition by the candidate.
All graduate students who were required to take the TOEFL exam for admission will also be required to take courses on written or spoken English (listed as GRAD in the Graduate Course Catalog) as recommended by the Graduate Center. A student and his/her adviser can jointly petition the Graduate Studies Committee to waive this requirement.
There is no foreign language requirement for native English-speakers.
To be eligible to graduate, all students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all courses undertaken for graduate credit at William & Mary after admission to a degree program. No credit toward a degree will be allowed for a course in which a student receives a grade below C (grade point = 2.0). Before taking the qualifying exam, satisfactory progress consists of achieving at least a B (3.0/4.0) average in course work and satisfactory teaching (or, if appropriate, research) evaluations.