M.S. StudentsM.S. Students
- Graduate Degrees
Graduate Student ManualGraduate Student Manual
Right now this is just a placeholder, but soon we hope to fill these pages with sage advice for current and future CU physics graduate students. If you are a current student, you can contribute! This is a wiki page. Login and add what you feel needs to be added.
Department of Physics: Teaching and ResearchDepartment of Physics: Teaching and Research
Department ContactsDepartment Contacts
Contact Information for all physics department faculty and staff can be found on the Contacts Page.
Program GuidelinesProgram Guidelines
Plan B work can begin at any time after the student is accepted by a faculty member for a research project. The project is accomplished under the format of taking PHY 797 (Dir. Ind. Research) for 3 credit hours. A paper based on the research project is required. It should at least be written at the level of an advanced laboratory report and must be approved, first, by the faculty member guiding the research and, last, by the Director.
Recommended Courses SequenceRecommended Courses Sequence
If you are looking for information on registering for classes, please refer to the CU graduate school pages on online registration and grades.
Recommended Course Sequence (Plan A):
|Core course 1
||Core course 2|
|Graduate Seminar (PHY 791 or 591)
||Ind. Dir. Study or Readings(PHY 793 or PHY 795)|
|Ind. Dir. Study or readings (PHY 793 or 795)|
|Core course 3||Core course 4
|Masters Thesis (PHY 799)||Masters Thesis (PHY 799)|
- Each core course (PHY 611, PHY 621, PHY 631, PHY 641) is offered every other year.
- PHY 793/795/797 serves as an introduction to research with a faculty member.
- Electives can be any 500- , 600-, or 700-level physics course, or appropriate courses from another department that are directly related to your thesis research.
- Teaching Fellows are limited to a total of 18 cr. hrs. per year (Fall+Spring+Summer).
- Plan B students substitute Ind. Dir. Research (PHY 797, 3 cr. hrs.) for the two Masters Thesis courses; a formal report on the research is required.
The Master's ThesisThe Master's Thesis
All Plan A students are required to complete a thesis. In addition to the written thesis, the student should also submit an electronic copy of the thesis. The format of the electronic thesis could be any commonly used word processor or it could be converted to PDF. A form for submitting the electronic copy to the Graduate School is obtained from the Program Director at the time of the oral defense of the thesis; a copy is also provided in the following pages. Although the Graduate School no longer requires a written copy of the thesis, the physics department requires that the student arrange for at least two written copies (one for the student, one for the advisor).
The following links will take you to the CU graduate school webiste. All physics graduate students should be familar with the information on the following pages:
M.S. Program DeadlinesM.S. Program Deadlines
|Fall Semester||Spring Semester||Summer||Deadline|
|October 15, 2014||February 15, 2015||June 15, 2015||Last day for file on-line degree application for degree to be conferred at the end of semester|
|December 15, 2014||May 11, 2015||August 17, 2015||
|December 20, 2014||May 9, 2015||August 14, 2015||Semester/Term ends.|
|December 20, 2014||May 16, 2015||August 22, 2015||Commencement/Degree Conferral Date|
Students and advisors should also checek that the required number of credit hours have been passed for each Plan (33 hrs for Plan B, including 3 hrs of PHY 797; 30 hours for Plan A, including 6 hrs of PHY 799).
The maximum credit hours allowed for tuition remission for Teaching Fellows is 18 for each year, including summer. Special permission from the Graduate Dean is required during the Spring semester to tak courses in the following summer if the limit would be exceeded.
Plan A students should also arrange to meet at least once each semester/term with their thesis committees, especially near the time of the oral thesis defense.
When you first arrive....When you first arrive....
Procedures Upon Arriving for New Students
General InformationGeneral Information
Duplicating: The copy machine is located in the department mail room (HL G79). It is not intended for personal copying. Students are advised to familiarize themselves with the Federal Copyright Laws that are posted near the machine. You can print directly to the copier from your computer (Printer name is HLSBG79-WC5150 on the print1 printserver).
Declaring a Physics Major/MinorDeclaring a Physics Major/Minor
Applying for a Physics Major
Students usually apply for a physics major during the Sophomore or Junior Year. Your application will be approved if you have successfully completed PHY 213/PHY 221 and PHY 214/PHY 222, or PHY 201/202 for the Biomedical Physics Majors.
Applying for a Physics Minor
You can apply for a minor whenever you like. The requirements for the minor can be satisfied anytime prior to graduation. It is helpful to let the department and your advisor know know if you are planning to minor.
Finding a Major or Minor Advisor
When your application for a physics major is approved, a faculty member of the physics department will be assigned as your advisor. You can also request a particular faculty member to be your advisor.
Getting InvolvedGetting Involved
At Creighton, Undergraduates are actively involved with Physics Department faculty and staff. Don't hesitate to get involved as soon as you can. Here are some ways to do this.
- Contact faculty regarding their research and ask to participate in undergraduate research. Nearly all Physics majors are involved, often receiving a stipend, scholarship, or course credit. Don't be shy, the faculty are eager to get you involved in undergraduate research.
- Come to the weekly Physics Seminar on Thursdays from 12:30 - 1:30. Its a good way to get to know Physics folk, and the talks will broaden your perspective on current research in physics. It may also give you an idea of what kind of research project you would like to be involved in. As a bonus, snacks are provided!
- Subscribe to the physics_majors mailing list to receive department announcements, and learn about scholarship and research opportunities.
- Get involved in Physics Club (Society of Physics Students)
- THE PHYSICS CLUBROOM (Hixson-Lied G55) is available for all physics club members by keypad access. If you would like to join the physics club see one of the club officers or faculty. The clubroom is a place to hang out between classes, eat (breakfast) lunch (dinner), do homework, use the computers or just be social!
- Participate in yearly physics department events like service projects, Physnics, Field Day, Evening of Reflection, and Departmental Retreats.
Preparing for Medical, Dental, or other professional schoolPreparing for Medical, Dental, or other professional school
- Students interested in the health sciences should get involved with the CU Premed society. From that page you can subscribe to their mailing list to receive announcements of activities of interest.
- Review the material on the CU Prehealth sciences pages to find information on choosing courses, applying to medical school, finding a pre-health science adviser at Creighton, extra-curricular activities, letters of recommendation, and other resources.
- Students who are not majoring in biology should be sure to take upper-division biology courses (in addition to BIO 211 and BIO 212). Particularly useful courses include BIO 317 - Genetics and BIO 449 - Animal Physiology. It would be best to take one or both of these courses prior to taking the MCAT in the spring of your Junior Year.
- Some medical schools now require Biochemistry for admission. The chemistry department offers CHM 371 - Biochemistry of Metabolism for premed students. They also offer CHM 381 - Fundamentals of Biochemistry (by instructor consent) that may be of interest to those seeking a more mechanistic approach to Biochemistry. Both of these courses can be taken after CHM 323 - Organic Chemistry Lecture II. These courses are also helpful in preparing for the MCAT.
Pre-Medical Education (PMED)
Starting in the fall of 2009, Creighton will offer a non-credit, Pre-Med Educational Seminar (PMED) series to students planning to attend medical school after their undergraduate careers. The co-curricular program and its activities are designed to complement the student’s academic and scholarly achievements.
- A five-semester series of weekly seminars and other activities designed to strengthen the candidacy of Creighton students as they prepare for the medical school application process.
- The series begins in the second semester of the freshman year and ends in the second semester of the junior year.
o Seminar activities will include workshops on interviewing, preparing an AMCAS application, writing personal statements and developing solid shadowing experiences among other important topics.
- PMED will allow students to develop and maintain quality relationships with advisors and those providing input to the committee letter (see below). The impact will be visible across the University.
Creighton will be joining many other top-ranked universities in offering students university-level committee letters to include in their applications to medical school.
- Medical schools are looking for these letters as an important part of an applicant’s dossier.
- The letter is not required, but does help to give the student an edge in the admissions process.
- Students who register for and successfully complete all 5 semesters of the seminar offered during their 4-year undergraduate program will be eligible to have a committee letter sent on their behalf.
- For the 2009-10 academic year, rising sophomores will need to complete 4 semesters of the seminar and rising juniors will need to complete 2 semesters of the seminar in order to apply for the campus letter.
To obtain more information about pre-medical education and/or to be put on our email distribution list, please contact Tricia Brundo Sharrar, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, at email@example.com or 402-280-1845.
Please remember to sign up for the correct section of PMED. In most cases, that's based on when you plan to graduate (even if by credit hours you already have the next year's class status). So in most cases, that means the following:
- If you plan to graduate in May 2011 (and thus will be a junior in fall 2009), then ...
- sign up for the junior section, which is Pre-Medicine Seminar - 73196 - PMED 301 - JR
- If you plan to graduate in May 2012 (so will be a sophomore), then ...
sign up for the sophomore section, which is Pre-Medicine Seminar - 73195 - PMED 201 - SO
- If you will be taking a "real" (for credit) class that meets at the same time (from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. on Fridays) which conflicts with PMED, you might check with Ms. Sharrar.
To learn about the profession, admission requirements, the OAT exam and application procedures, consult the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) Website
"GENERAL REQUIREMENTS for all schools include at least one year of Biology or Zoology, General Chemistry, General Physics, English and College Math."
In addition, most schools require students to have successfully completed Organic Chemistry (1 year), Biochemistry (1 course), Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Psychology, and Statistics. So you should review the list of School- Specific Course Requirements.
GPA: In 2009, the average GPA of students entering 16 of the 20 reporting optometry schools varied from 3.10 to 3.61.
Preparing for the GREPreparing for the GRE
Graduate programs in most fields use the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as one component of the admissions process. Expect to take the general GRE exam regardless of the type of graduate program that you will be applying to. This is a three hour exam that tests verbal, math, and writing skills (see http://www.ets.org/gre for more details).
Many Physics graduate programs also require the GRE Physics subject test, which specifically tests on knowledge of undergraduate-level physics.
The pages below offer study suggestions and preparation materials:
- GRE Prep Info: www.greprepinfo.com
- Magoosh: https://gre.magoosh.com/
- Masters Degree Net: https://www.mastersdegree.net/how-to-study-for-the-gre/
Studying for the GRE (Sandra M. Behncke)Studying for the GRE (Sandra M. Behncke)
- GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP!!! This is the most important
- Eat something nutritional the week of your tests like salmon, brown rice, broccoli, blueberries, red bell peppers – any power foods.
- Don’t fry yourself out with massive amounts of caffeine! Drink lots of H20…your body and mind becomes tired when it is dehydrated.
- Don’t stress out! Exercise, dance, do yoga…do what you like to do to relieve stress.
- When you take the test don’t panic! Remember to breathe and stay calm…you know this stuff...don’t beat yourself up!
- Wear comfortable clothes to take the test. If you're always cold bring a sweater, etc. You can also chew gum to stimulate your head...studies show that students who chew gum during tests score 30% higher than if they weren't chewing.
- Lastly, if your test scores come in the mail and make you cry, don’t fret…you can always take it again in the future! One little standardized test score does not represent the entire intelligent person YOU ARE!
Suggestions for Math ClassesSuggestions for Math Classes
The following proposal is tentative, and should not be considered final until this sentance disappears! Be sure to discuss your plans with your major advisor, or a faculty member in physics if you have not yet declared a physics major.
- Year 1 (Freshmen, or first year in the Physics major)
- General Physics (PHY 211 and 212) are calculus-based physics classes, so you need to have Calc I (MTH 245) as a co- or pre-requisite for these classes.
- After PHY 212, some sophmore-level courses like Modern Physics (PHY 301), and Optics (PHY 331) require require Calc II (MTH 246) as pre-requisites.
- The best practice is to take Calc-II (MTH 246) along with PHY 212.
- Year 2 (Sophomores)
- Upper division Physics classes rely heavily on a firm mathematics background. It is often the case that mathematics is best understood in the applied context of Physics. And since Physics requires practical application of math, you'll also be learning through direct practice in upper division Physics courses.
- The two classes that will help you the most are Calc III (MTH 347) and Mathematical Physics (PHY 551).
- Best practice will be to take Calc III (MTH 347) concurrently with Modern Physics (PHY 301) in the Fall of your sophomore year, followed by Mathematical Physics (PHY 551) in the Spring.
- Year 3 (Juniors)
- Students going on to Graduate school in Physics or Engineering should plan to take Linear Algebra (MTH 529) and Differential Equations (MTH 545).
- Year 4 (Seniors)
- Additional courses can help round-out your mathematics preparation for graduate programs in Physics and Engineering. There are many possibilities, but two of particular relevance include Partial Differential Equations (MTH 546), and possibly Complex Analysis (MTH 593), though other Math courses could also be recommended.
- BONUS! Students completing all of these classes will complete the requirements for a Mathematics Minor!
Society of Physics StudentsSociety of Physics Students
Welcome to the Creighton University Chapter
of the Society of Physics Students !
About Our Chapter: Activities
The Creighton chapter of the Society of Physics students is active throughout the entire academic year. Meetings are held most every month where free pizza is shared and upcoming activities discussed. Some of the events which are usually done each year are:
Physnic - A picnic put on by SPS for the entire department as an opportunity for the faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students to get to know each other and any new students in a social setting.
Haunted Lab - Beware and be spooked as the optics lab is transformed into a Halloween tunnel demonstrating the many applications of physics through terrific demonstrations set to a haunted theme.
Community Service - The SPS tries to do one day of service per semester, a recent fall community service event was raking up leaves for those unable to do so themselves.
Physics Department Retreat - The SPS is crucial to planning and executing the annual Departmental Retreat for all students and faculty. The SPS helps decide what the theme and discussion of the retreat are as well as planning the meals and logistics.
Physics Field Day - The highlight of the year for the SPS is hosting a day of competition for high school physics classes. High schoolers from Nebraska and Iowa come to compete in contests which involve using the basic concepts of physics which they are learning about in their classes. Events such as catapults, quiz bowl, circuit building, optical slalom and many more make for a fun packed day for those participating and administrating. To see the winners and rulebooks for past Field Days, visit the Hall of Fame located in the Departmental Events section.
Community Service - Traditionally the SPS has spent a day working with Habitat for Humanity for the spring service.
Photos from these activies can be found in the Photo Gallery.
The Society of Physics Students annually elects four officers at the end of the spring term to serve for the following academic year. The ’19-’20 academic year officers are:
President: Mason Rhodes
Vice-President: Emi Berni
Secretary: Lorenzo Riva
Treasurer: Andrew Walther
Faculty Moderator: Dr. Jonathan Wrubel
If you are interested in joined the Society of Physics Students please contact Mason Rhodes: MasonRhodes@creighton.edu
About our Chapter: Background
The Creighton University Physics Club was founded in the fall semester of 1962-63 by Dr. Thomas H. Zepf who also served as the club's first faculty moderator. On April 22, 1968 the club became one of the 292 original founding chapters of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) an affiliate of the American Institute of Physics. Physics majors are strongly encouraged to join the Creighton University Chapter. The SPS encourages a professional spirit and friendship among its members and it provides an opportunity for students to form a closer relationship with faculty. Its activities seek to promote interest in physics both on campus and in the local community. Membership provides a number of benefits including scholarships and travel awards, as well as a subscription to the journal, Physics Today.
Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society
Sigma Pi Sigma is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. It serves as a means of awarding distinction to students of high scholarship and promise of achievement in physics. It promotes student interest in research and advanced study in physics. Founded in 1921, it is now housed within the Society of Physics Students. Today there are hundreds of chartered chapters throughout the United States. The Creighton University chapter was chartered on December 5th, 1982 with the induction of 15 members who met the eligibility requirements. The installing officers were Dr. Thomas H. Zepf and Dr. Nancy Fogarty of Creighton University, and Dr. Robert Wood Green of Morningside College. Membership is open to all students with an interest in physics who have completed at least three semesters of full-time college work, including 12 hours of upper-division physics courses applicable to the major. Undergraduate students must have a minimum QPA of 3.25 in all college work and a 3.25 in upper-division physics at the time of initiation. Graduate students must have satisfactorily completed at least 15 semester hours of graduate work in physics and be approved for membership by the Graduate Physics Faculty on the basis of the quality of their graduate work. Election to Sigma Pi Sigma is a lifetime membership.
About the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma
If you would like to learn about the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society you might start by reading the national SPS webpages. This website has membership forms, scholarship applications,travel award notices, research award forms, related to the Society for Physics Students.
|2018-2019||Sam Ruiz||John Sunderland||Gus Hernandez||Colin Reedy|