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AP PhD Model Program

This description of the Applied Physics PhD course expectations augments the school-wide PhD course requirementsStudents should make themselves familiar with both.

Proposed Ph.D. plans that follow these guidelines, including one of the 3 tracks, will be automatically approved by the CHD, provided that they also comply with the overall SEAS Ph.D. requirements, in particular: 10 courses overall (8 disciplinary, 2 breadth), 5 of which must be 200-level SEAS or SEAS equivalent courses (courses taught in FAS by SEAS faculty), no more than 2 that are 100-level courses (of which only 1 counts as disciplinary). 

Students following these model programs/guidelines must take the Core Courses below as well as choose one of three Tracks below. 

Plans that deviate from these guidelines will be reviewed by the CHD and approved on a case-by-case basis, although all plans must comply with the overall SEAS Ph.D. requirements.

Core Courses

One graduate course in each of the three fields listed below (electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics). In exceptional cases, the CHD may approve substituting one of the listed undergraduate courses.


  • Graduate level: Physics 232, AP 216, AP 217, ES 273
  • Undergraduate level (CHD approval required): ES 151

Quantum Mechanics:

  • Graduate level: Physics 251a, Physics 251b, AP/Physics 295a, AP/Physics 295b, Chem 243
  • Undergraduate level (CHD approval required): AP/Physics 195, Physics 143a, Physics143b, ES 170

Statistical Mechanics:

  • Graduate level: AP 284, AP 286, Physics 262
  • Undergraduate level (CHD approval required): Physics 181, or (for students doing bio-related research) MCB 199


Track Courses

In addition to three core courses, AP graduate students may choose one of the three tracks below:

Photonics and Nanoelectronics Track

Take one course from each field below, preferably at the graduate level:

  • Solid State: AP/Physics 295a, AP/Physics 195 (undergraduate level)
  • Quantum Devices: ES 274
  • Photonics/Nanoelectronics: AP 218, ES 273, Physics 223, ES 173 (undergraduate level)

Bio/Soft Matter Track

Take one course from each field below:

  • Continuum Mechanics: ES 220, ES 240
  • Math and Computational Techniques: AM 201, AM 202, AM 203, AM 205, AM 207
  • Bio or Soft Matter: AP 225, BCMP 200, CB 201, GEN 201

Materials Track

Take three of the four courses listed below:

  • Solids: Structures and Defects: AP 282
  • Properties of Materials: AP 218
  • Kinetics of Condensed Phase Processes: AP 292
  • Chemistry in Materials Science and Engineering: AP 235