Graduate Program in Applied Physics Ph.D. Degree Learning Goals and Assessment

The doctoral program in Applied Physics trains students at the highest level to conduct research at the forefront in experimental and theoretical applied physics.

Learning Goal 1 for Students: Master the fundamentals of the field and develop the problem solving skills and analytical thinking required for research.

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:

  • Performance on homework, exams, class participation in graduate courses
  • Written qualifying exam to assess basic knowledge of physics, problem solving skills, and analytical thinking
  • Role of the program in helping students to achieve Goal 1:
  • Assure that students are prepared in a coherent and academically rigorous fashion
  • Assure breadth of knowledge by requiring courses outside of primary area of interest To ensure broadness, students can take some courses at NJIT and New Brunswick
  • Effective monitoring of student progress
  • Provide guidance on preparing for the qualifying exams
  • Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of instructors in graduate courses
    • If effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve
    • Periodic review of curriculum and assessment tools

Learning Goal 2 for Students: Engage in and conduct original research

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:

  • Research proposal and subsequent annual meetings of the Ph.D. committee
  • Preparation and defense of Ph.D. dissertation
  • Assessment of quality of Ph.D. dissertation
    • Public defense of dissertation
    • Critical reading of dissertation by a committee consisting of graduate faculty members (sometimes associated with industry)
    • Submission and acceptance of conference papers and of peer reviewed articles based on the dissertation
  • Achievement of students as evidenced by professional placement, selection for conference presentations, peer reviewed publications, and the awarding of individual grants and fellowships.

Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 2:

  • Research adviser guides and advises student on methods of research, finding thesis topic, and completion of research
  • Acquaint students with research in department through seminars
  • Provide an early introduction to research methods and opportunities for research
  •  Provide opportunities to present research and receive feedback
  • Provide guidance toward timely completion of degree

Learning Goal 3 for Students: Master the skills required for careers in basic and applied research, development, and/or teaching.

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3:

  • Review papers presented, publications, and professional networking
  • Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of graduate student instructors
  • Collection of placement data and awards
  • Survey graduates

Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 3:

  • Help students develop effective presentation and communication skills through annual committee meetings and presentations at group meetings, conferences, and other forums. Develop programs related to job and networking skills, including membership and activity in professional societies
  • Teach students how to assess themselves in their future professional capacities
  • Acquaint students with career opportunities outside applied physics

The Chair of the Department of Applied Physics and the Director of the Graduate Program will regularly review the structure and content of the program and the feedback received from assessments and surveys in order to improve the program and provide students with the best available education in applied physics.