Physics

The graduate school is organized within the Department of Physics.

Directors of Graduate Studies: Jan Swenson and Christophe Demaziere
Administrator for Graduate studies: Anna Lindqvist

Syllabus

Established by the Vice President on 2006-02-17, reference number C2006/178. 
Latest revised on 2021-06-23, reference number F2021/0110.
This syllabus applies to doctoral students admitted as of 2018-04-01. 
Regarding older syllabus, please contact the first vice/vice head of department.

Transitional regulations: 
A doctoral student admitted to an older syllabus may earn a degree in accordance with this, provided that the current Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes and current Local Qualifications Framework – third cycle qualifications are followed. 

Doctoral students admitted to an older syllabus of graduate school Physics can, however, change to the current syllabus by an application to the Deputy/Vice Head of Department. The change must be documented in the individual study plan. 

The graduate school is regulated by the Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes and the Local Qualifications Framework for Chalmers University of Technology – third cycle qualifications and is described in the syllabus for the graduate school. In the event of any conflict between the documents, the Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes and the Local Qualifications Framework for Chalmers University of Technology – third cycle qualifications are governing. For the most recent version of all regulatory documents referenced in this syllabus, see Chalmers’s internal website.

1. Subject description 

Description of subject 

The graduate school in Physics is based on experimental, theoretical and computational physics. The scientific topics range from subatomic physics on the shortest length-scale to astrophysics on the longest length-scale. Furthermore, many of the subjects are in the borderline between physics and materials science, nanotechnology, chemistry and life science. The research projects are commonly utilising the fact that physicists can design, probe, manipulate and predict properties of matter on the atomic scale.

The doctoral programme in Physics is based on research with high relevance for both industry and academia. 

2. Objectives of the doctoral program 

Objectives

The national objectives for third cycle degrees (licentiate and doctoral degree) and local requirements are stated in the Local Qualifications Framework for Chalmers University of Technology – third cycle qualifications. 

Objectives specific for the graduate school

The goal of this doctoral programme is to provide fundamental knowledge, practical skills and experience at a high international level. The specific goals for our doctoral students are:
  • Acquire an advanced knowledge of physics.
  • Develop an analytical ability to apply acquired knowledge, to analyze and interpret data and to synthesize results and then decide how to proceed.
  • To push the frontline of research in a particular area of specialization evidenced by scientific publications, conference contributions and patents.
  • Become creative in identifying new promising areas of physics.

3. Entry requirements 

General entry requirements 

To be qualified for admission in Physics the student must have earned a degree at the second-cycle level. The orientation of the student’s degree shall also have a sufficiently close connection to the subject of the doctoral programme. Equivalent requirements apply to individuals who have taken their first degree in a country other than Sweden. The examiner, in consultation with the principal supervisor, shall assess whether the applicant has the requisite capacity to successfully complete the doctoral programme. Other requirements for general entry are regulated in Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes. 

The earned degree at the second-cycle level must be a degree in physics, or a strongly related topic (e.g. engineering physics or an other physics related subject), where most of the basic courses in physics have been taken. In detail this implies that the student should have documented knowledge (i.e. passed courses) in at least three of the following eight areas of physics: classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, solid state physics, subatomic physics, thermodynamics, statistical physics and optics.

Admission 

Regulations regarding admission are stated in Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes. 

4. Curriculum

The study programme towards a doctoral degree encompasses 240 higher education credits. The study programme towards a licentiate degree encompasses 120 higher education credits. One year of full-time studies equals 60 credits. 

For the licentiate degree programme the credits are distributed between courses and thesis work as follows: courses 30 credits and thesis at least 90 credits. 

For the doctoral degree programme the credits are distributed between course work and thesis work as follows: courses 60 credits and thesis at least 180 credits. 

Courses

Courses within the graduate school include general courses that cover all doctoral programmes at Chalmers as well as courses specific for the graduate school.

General courses in Chalmers’s doctoral programmes 
The general course requirements for doctoral programmes at Chalmers are regulated in Local Qualifications Framework for Chalmers University of Technology – third cycle qualifications. 

Courses specific for the Graduate school 
There are no specific course requirements. A documented knowledge of at least five of the following eight areas of physics is, however, needed in order to obtain a doctoral degree in Physics: classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, solid state physics, subatomic physics, thermodynamics, statistical physics and optics.

Licentiate thesis 

A licentiate thesis shall be written in English. In exceptional cases it can be written in Swedish; in such cases it shall contain a summary in English. 

The purpose of the licentiate thesis is to account for the relevant scientific results that have been attained during the thesis work and describe these in a way that is accessible outside of the scientific inner circle of researchers. A licentiate thesis can either be written as a compilation thesis or as a monograph. If the licentiate thesis is a compilation thesis it should begin with an introduction, a summarizing text, followed by the included scientific articles. The purpose of the summarizing text is to put the studies in context, and to present relevant results that for various reasons are not described within the articles. 

The preferred format is a compilation thesis. A compilation thesis should include two articles that may be published in, accepted for publication in, or in manuscript form (approved by the examiner) for submission to, an international scientific journal with a peer review system. The presentation of the thesis shall take place in the presence of an external reviewer and the examiner. 

Other regulations concerning the licentiate thesis are stated in Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes. 

Doctoral thesis 

A doctoral thesis shall be written in English. In exceptional cases it can be written in Swedish; in such cases it shall contain a summary in English. 

The purpose of the doctoral thesis is to account for the relevant scientific results that have been attained during the thesis work and describe these in a way that is accessible outside of the scientific inner circle of researchers. A doctoral thesis can either be written as a compilation thesis or as a monograph. If the doctoral thesis is a compilation thesis it should begin with an introduction, a summarizing text, followed by the included scientific articles. The purpose of the summarizing text is to put the studies in context, and to present relevant results that for various reasons are not described within the articles. 

The preferred format is a compilation thesis. 

Other regulations concerning the doctoral thesis are stated in Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes.

Supervision 

The Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes states that for each doctoral student at least two supervisors shall be appointed. One of them shall be appointed principal supervisor. The doctoral student has the right to supervision during the studies unless the Head of Department decides otherwise. 

Other regulations concerning supervision are stated in Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes. 

5. Examination 

After completion of a doctoral programme a doctoral degree is awarded. A licentiate degree can be an intermediate stage in a doctoral degree. If a licentiate degree is not a part of the individual study plan, a midway seminar shall be held to denote that licentiate level has been reached. 

Examination, licentiate degree

For a licentiate degree to be awarded, the doctoral student must have received a grade of pass for the licentiate thesis and its presentation and must also have received a grade of pass for the other elements that are included in the programme. 

Examination, doctoral degree 

For a doctoral degree to be awarded, the doctoral student must have had a doctoral thesis and its defence approved and must also have passed the other elements that are included in the programme. 

Other regulations regarding examination are stated in:
  • Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes
  • Local Qualifications Framework for Chalmers University of Technology – third cycle qualifications 

6. Title of degree

The title of qualification is Teknologie doktorsexamen i fysik or Filosofie doktorsexamen i fysik. The English translation of the title of the qualification is Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Physics. 

For a licentiate degree the title of the qualification is Teknologie licentiatexamen i fysik or Filosofie licentiatexamen i fysik. The English translation of the title of qualification is Degree of Licentiate of Engineering in Physics or Degree of Licentiate of Philosophy in Physics.

The degree is given a title corresponding to the name of the faculty within which the undergraduate degree was earned. The title is determined by the Head of Department in connection with admission.

Any decision regarding exemption from use of the defined title is made by the Head of Department. In some individual cases, it is possible to use a title that does not correspond to the name of the faculty within which the undergraduate degree was earned.

Page manager Published: Thu 15 Jul 2021.