The procedures described here supplement the requirements listed in the catalog.

  1. General Schedule for Masters and Doctorate Students

    Pathways through the MS and PhD degrees are listed in the graduate catalog. All graduate students in the department (except those in the non-thesis MS program) must take the Comprehensive Exam as soon as they have passed the three corresponding courses (see 2. below). Students are encouraged to form their committee and prepare their Qualifier Proposal at the end of their second year, and undergo the Qualifying Exam (see 4. below) early in their third year.

  2. Comprehensive Exam

    The Department of Space Science runs a comprehensive exam ("Comps") each year in between the Spring and Summer semesters, with results being announced before the start of the Summer semester. This is a written exam with no oral component. More information can be found in this document.

  3. Obtaining your Master's Degree

    When a student enters the Space Science Program as a Ph.D. student and has passed the Comprehensive Exam, the student should apply for the SPA Master’s Program to receive the MS degree. The Admissions Application Form can be found here. The Master's option under Space Science needs to be marked. Once the form is completed and signed, it should be sent to Beth Parker. The application fee does not need to be paid, since it was paid when the student originally applied to the Space Science Program. After applying to the Master's Program, the student will apply for the Master's Degree. The Application for Graduate Degree can be accessed here. The form and graduation fee should be submitted to the Bursar's Office at the Student Service Building, Room 123.The Department strongly encourages all students eligible for an MS degree to apply for the degree. For any questions or concerns, please contact Beth Parker.

  4. Qualifying Exam

    The Department of Space Science PhD program includes a qualifying exam where candidates present their dissertation plan to their committee. This presentation is accompanied by a written research plan ("qualifier proposal") that must be submitted to the committee 2 weeks before the presentation. Committee members may submit written question related to topics covered in the proposal to the candidate up to 1 week before the presentation, so that the candidate can incorporate his/her responses in the presentation.

  5. Dissertation/thesis Defense and Committee

    The Department of Space Science follows the committee rules as stated in the graduate handbook. PhD candidates are encouraged to include at least 1 "external" member on the committee from another department or research center on campus, but this is not always practical and hence it is not a strict requirement. A complete version of the dissertation or thesis must be sent to the committee at least 1 week before the date of the PhD or MS defense. While it is normal for candidates to make changes to their dissertation/thesis following the defense, the version submitted to the committee must be in a "final" state. A copy of the research paper that has been accepted for publication (as required by the PhD program) should be sent to the committee along with the dissertation.