Frequently Asked Questions for Current Students
This listing has been made to address the questions that are most often asked by graduate students in our program. The answers to these questions are described in detail in the other materials that are distributed or available, but sometimes it is helpful to have them summarized in one place. From time to time, the rules and regulations change, so this document is to be used only as a guide. The official answer to the questions may still be found in the latest rules of the University of Florida, the Graduate School, and the Department of Physics. Naturally, if you have any questions or if you would like further clarification, please meet with the Graduate Coordinator or one of the Program Assistants in the Office of Student Services, NPB 1210.

FAQs are provided in the following subjects:

   [Definitions]    [Appointments]    [PhD Program]    [MS Program]    [Research]

                          [General Advice]    [Qualifying and Final Exams]


When is a good time to start looking for a research group to join?
It is never too early to start exploring your options for joining a research group.

How does one go about joining a research group?
Ultimately, you must have a discussion with the faculty leader of the group. Before having this discussion, you might talk to the graduate students and/or other researchers in the group. You need to realize that joining a research group is a privilege and not a right. You might have to work in a group or on a specific topic on a trial basis in order to see if your interests and work habits match the ones that are needed.

I came to UF to study in one specific research group or with one specific advisor. Does that group or advisor have to take me as a PhD student?
No, you have to realize that your admission to the program did not guarantee you a position in any specific research program. In some cases, specific research groups are extremely popular, and consequently, they are very difficult to enter.

What do I do if I cannot join the research group that interests me?
If you are not able to join the group that is your first choice, then you need to explore other options. You need to keep an open mind and continue to seek a research opportunity that interests you. A great aspect of the program at UF is that there are numerous research groups that are active in a wide range of topics.

I have an RA appointment. Does this mean I can take as much time as I like to complete my work toward my PhD? Although an RA appointment does afford the student some additional flexibility, it does not obviate the need to meet the scheduled requirements. The Supervisory Committee plays an important role is judging whether or not the student is making reasonable and timely progress.