During the course of a Ph.D., you enroll in one of the graduate program tracks listed at the bottom of this page.    Each has its own course requirements, but general features of all of the tracks are:

  • Courses:  You take at least 7 regular courses.
  • Enrolled units:  To retain full time status, you enroll in 12 units per quarter.  After you complete your coursework, these are usually research units.
  • Grades: To remain in good academic standing, you must maintain a B average.
  • Teaching:  You are required to do 4 quarters of teaching.
  • Advisor:  You choose an advisor during the 2nd quarter of the first year (or earlier).
  • Exams:   In the analytic, atmospheric, physical, and theoretical tracks, you pass cumulative exams at end of the first year;  those in the organic and inorganic tracks have their exams at the start of their 2nd year.
  • Advancement to candidacy:  You advance at start of 3rd year (Organic: End of 2nd year).
  • Ph. D. thesis defense:  If you are typical, you defend your thesis at the end of your 5th year.

For details on the requirements of the individual tracks, click on the appropriate link below: