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ERIC Number: ED505761
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Graduate Education in Physics. Report of the Joint AAPT-APS Task Force. Revised
American Association of Physics Teachers (NJ1)
The Task Force on Graduate Education in Physics (TFGE), an ad hoc committee convened jointly by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the American Physical Society (APS), has studied the current status of graduate education in physics Ph.D. programs, and has made recommendations based on what was found. The findings indicate that the majority of Ph.D. programs in physics have a common core curriculum and that students must demonstrate mastery of those subjects by passing either courses or exams. The subjects covered in this core curriculum appear to have remained constant, on average, for some time, and most departments do not plan on wholesale changes to their curricula in the near future. Most departments also require some "breadth" courses in different areas of physics. There also appears to be demand from students and potential employers of Ph.D.'s for training in additional skills, such as public speaking, writing, teaching, teamwork, and leadership. The time to Ph.D. has been lengthening slowly over the past 30 years, but many departments are making efforts to curtail the increase (which seems to have succeeded to the extent that there has not been a significant change in time to Ph.D. across the past 10 years). Overall, graduate education in physics appears to be healthy, but departments should be aware that as the fields of physics evolve, flexibility may be an increasingly important characteristic of physics Ph.D. programs. (Contains 9 figures and 6 footnotes.)
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of Physics Teachers, College Park, MD.