The OSU Graduate School PhD specifies general Learning Outcomes (

a)  produce and defend an original significant contribution to knowledge; and
b)  demonstrate mastery of subject material; and
c)  be able to conduct scholarly activities in an ethical manner.

In addition, and as a clarification to the OSU Graduate School Learning Outcomes, upon completing the requirements for a PhD in physics from Oregon State University, Physics graduates will be able to:

  • Analyze Physical Systems

Apply physical laws and principles to formulate and produce solutions to questions that arise from a broad range of physical phenomena; master quantitative techniques (exact techniques and various levels of approximation including order-of-magnitude estimates); and devise and adopt ways of making meaning of their results.

  •  Learn Physics Expertly

Learn and apply new concepts, methodologies, and techniques by identifying and engaging with various resources including, e.g., research literature and books, both individually and in collaboration with peers and other experts.

  • Create and Share Novel Physical Insight

Design and conduct original research within a chosen specialty and disseminate the results through effective presentations in professional settings and in the scientific literature. Research expectations include: familiarity with primary literature, identification of central issues and knowledge gaps, ability to develop original questions, ability to identify and mitigate obstacles in research, ability to engage in productive discussions and work synergistically within a group or collaboration, and ability to write effective scientific publications that include citations and clear descriptions of methods and results.

  • Communicate with Learners

Design and facilitate physics learning experiences at an appropriate level of sophistication for a broad range of audiences (e.g. colleagues, students, and the general public).

  • Do Physics Ethically and Inclusively

Conduct themselves ethically and inclusively in all professional settings, in accordance with the American Physical Society code of ethics (, as well as proactively identify areas where ethical and/or discrimination issues may arise and articulate strategies for dealing with them.