A graduate student in the Physics department is subject to probation as soon as his/her cumulative graduate GPA falls below 2.75. The student remains on probation until four more courses are taken, at which time another evaluation is made. If, at that time, the student has failed to raise his/her cumulative GPA to the required level of 2.75 the student may be dismissed for poor scholarship, and prohibited from registering for additional course work.


A graduate student who is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree may be dismissed upon the recommendation of the Graduate Committee of the Physics Department. Instances of not making satisfactory progress toward the degree include being placed on probation for more than two consecutive quarters or taking four courses, whichever is later, failing grades in two or more graduate courses, or any other situation that has been deemed by a majority of the Graduate Committee to constitute an instance of not making satisfactory progress toward the degree.


A student who has been dismissed may, after a period of time, petition for reinstatement. The petition, addressed to the Dean of the College of Science and Health, would provide information that would demonstrate a change in the student’s circumstances to an extent that would support successful completion of the student’s degree program. The Dean’s decision, based upon the merits of the petition and the recommendation of the Graduate Committee of the Physics department, may, if favorable, stipulate conditions of reinstatement.  The Dean has the discretion to reject the recommendation for reinstatement.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of three courses (12 quarter credit hours or the semester equivalent) may be transferred from another university or DePaul program, subject to the following: The determination of whether or not a particular course is deemed suitable for transfer will be made by the Program Director who may, at his/her discretion, consult the Graduate Committee for assistance in making this decision.  Upon successful support, the request would be made to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies for approval.  Transfer credit can only be awarded for graduate level coursework which has not counted toward the completion of a degree at DePaul or any other institution.

Undergraduate Courses

Students who are deemed to have inadequate undergraduate preparation in physics may be required to take undergraduate courses in Physics. Such courses will be specified by the Program Director in consultation with the Graduate Committee. A maximum of two such courses as eight credit hours may be counted toward the graduate degree, but undergraduate courses cannot substitute for any required (core) courses in the graduate program.

Graduation Requirements

Requirements include, but are not limited to, earning a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75, completing a minimum of 48 quarter hours as twelve graduate courses, and completing and defending a thesis.


A thesis based on independent research in theoretical or experimental physics is generally required. An oral examination on the thesis is also required. The thesis and the defense will be evaluated by a committee consisting of three faculty members from the Physics department at DePaul, who may judge the thesis and/or oral examination to be satisfactory or may require the student to submit changes to the thesis, and go through more cycles of oral examination. Committee members from outside the Physics department (whether DePaul faculty, or external to DePaul) are allowed only by consent of the Program Director.

Thesis Proposal

A proposal (minimum one page) stating the broad outlines of the project, and signed by both the thesis advisor (deemed Thesis Committee Chair) and the student must be completed per the schedule below. A copy of this signed proposal, together with a copy of the Approval of Proposal for Final Project must be kept on file in the Physics department for reference. The thesis advisor may, at his/her discretion, prepare a longer, more comprehensive proposal.

Student plans oral defense of thesis no earlier than:​

​Student must submit Thesis Proposal
no later than:
Spring/Summer term of immediately following calendar year​ ​Autumn term
​Winter term of immediately following calendar year ​Summer term
​Autumn term of immediately following calendar year ​Winter term

The thesis proposal is a document that records the broad outline of the project only. The determination of when a student has completed the necessary work to be able to finish and defend the thesis will rest solely with the thesis advisor, and the thesis proposal cannot be used as a basis for determining the same. Changes to the thesis proposal may be carried out at the discretion of the thesis advisor. Changes proposed by the student will only be allowed if the thesis advisor agrees to make those changes.

Graduation with distinction

Graduating students will be deemed to have graduated with distinction if they earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 in coursework applied toward their graduate physics program and their thesis committee declares their project to have been completed with distinction (as evidenced by their signature on the Final Requirements Report form).​

Time Limitation

Students pursuing a master's degree must complete all requirements for the master's degree within a maximum of six years from their first term of enrollment in the program. 

​ ​​​