Course Requirements for Ph.D. Candidates


The course requirements may be divided into two categories:

  1. Core requirements
  2. Elective requirements

Core Areas

Each student must satisfy each of the following three core requirements for a total minimum of 5 full semester-equivalent courses, as follows:

Letters in parenthesis indicates semester normally offered: (Au)=autumn; (Sp)=spring; 1, 2 indicates half-semester courses.

Quantum Mechanics

Chemistry 6510 (Au-1), 6540 (Au-2), 7520 (Sp)

Physics 7501 (Au), 7502 (Sp), 7503 (Au)

Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics/Kinetics

Chemistry 6520 (Au-1), 6530 (Au-2), 7550 (Sp), 7540 (every other year)

Physics 7601 (Au), 7602 (Sp)


Chemistry 7530 (every other year)

Physics — Depending on topic 8804.XX may satisfy this requirement.

If the student does chemical research, the Safety Seminar, Chem 6781, must be taken.

To fulfill the core requirement in each area the student may take the appropriate courses in either department (but not both). These courses will normally be taken during the student's first year of enrollment (except for Physics 7503).

Elective Areas

In addition, the student must also demonstrate proficiency in several electives exemplified by the following:

Letters in parenthesis indicates semester normally offered: (Au)=autumn; (Sp)=spring; 1, 2 indicates half-semester courses.

Frontiers in Spectroscopy

ChemPhys 8880 (graded)

Laser and Optics

Chemistry 7580


Chemistry 7590

Electricity and Magnetism

Physics 7401

Condensed Matter Physics

Chemistry 7590

Physics 8806.1

Atomic Physics/Spectroscopy

Chemistry 7590

Physics 8804.1

Analytic Spectroscopy

Chemistry 7140


Chemistry 7120

Advanced Topics

Chemistry 6550, 7570

Physics 880X.X

Special Topics of Current Interest

Chemistry 8599, 8699

Physics 6810, 6820


Appropriate Math courses at the 4000 level or above, e.g., Math 4512, 4551, 4552, 4557, 4568, Phys 7701


Physics 7603

Whether some of these courses will be taught Autumn or Spring semester has not been settled yet by the Departments, and the advanced special topics courses are likely to remain variable.

Overall the student must complete the equivalent of 3 full semester courses of these elective requirements, with at least one of these being completed within the first year. Credit in the core areas in excess of 5 semester courses may be applied to fulfill up to 2 of the 3 course elective credit requirements. However, for the Chemical Physics degree, a student must accumulate a total of at least 2 full semester-equivalent courses in each of the Chemistry and the Physics Departments. ChemPhys8880—Frontiers in Spectroscopy, taken for a letter grade, will count as one elective.

Colloquia and Seminars

Colloquia and special seminars in both the Chemistry and Physics Departments provide an important opportunity to the faculty and students in the Chemical Physics Program to be introduced to research programs underway at OSU as well as to hear reports from scientists from throughout the U.S. and other parts of the world. For students who have selected an area in which to do their research, or are in the process of making such a choice, attendance at the special seminars in that area provides an important means of becoming acquainted with the frontiers of the field. All students are strongly advised to attend the special seminars in their chosen research area.