The department offers both the Ph.D. degree in physics and the M.S. degree in physics. The M.S. degree includes both a thesis option (Plan I) and a non-thesis option (Plan II). Both the Ph.D. and the M.S. degrees in physics are offered with specialization in astronomy. The departmental requirements for these degrees are outlined in this manual and in the Graduate Catalog. Checklists, advising worksheets, and the various forms needed for the completion of a degree, can be found in the academics area of the departmental website, physics.ua.edu. Students are advised to make personal copies of completed forms before submitting them. Students are subject to the general rules and regulations of the Graduate School as given in the Graduate Catalog as well as the specific rules and regulations of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Each student has an individual responsibility to know and understand the rules and regulations of the Graduate School and of the department and the requirements for the degree that he or she is pursuing. Students are encouraged to consult with their faculty advisors or the department chairperson if these requirements are not clearly understood. Much valuable and up-to-date information can be found on the Graduate School website. You should also be familiar with the departmental site.

Each graduate student will be assigned an academic advisor when the student initially enrolls in the department. After a student has chosen a research advisor (as described elsewhere in this manual), then the research advisor will replace the academic advisor as the student’s faculty advisor (unless they are the same).