Graduate Student Handbook

Director of Graduate Studies Paola Barbara and Prof. Mak Paranjape

The Graduate Student Handbook covers academic topics including registration information, requirements for Ph.D. and Master’s degrees, and the graduate student honor code. A section on financial aid addresses assistantships, additional employment, and taxes. Information about the Industrial Leadership in Physics program is also included. For more information on any of these topics, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). An effort has been made to include links to various sections, policies and forms. If any links are no longer active, please contact the GPC. The information presented below has been reduced for quick reference, more detailed information on policies and procedures is available from the Graduate School.

Graduate Bulletin

The Graduate Bulletin for the 2018-2019 Academic Year is now available.


  1. General Information
  2. Financial Assistance
  3. Registration
  4. Expectations of Graduate Student Integrity
  5. Expectations of Graduate Student Progress
  6. Additional Requirements for Graduate Students
  7. Ph.D. Degree Requirements
  8. Master’s Degree Requirements
  9. Industrial Leadership in Physics (ILP) Apprenticeship
  10. Industrial Leadership in Physics Organization (ILPO)
  11. FAQs
  12. University Support Resources

1. General Information

PERSONNEL (2019-20)

Department Chair Jeff Urbach
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) Daniel Blair
Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) Amy Hicks
Administrative Officer Mary Rashid
Administrative Assistant Janet Norton
Graduate Committee
  • Paola Barbara
  • Dan Blair
  • Amy Liu
  • Emanuela Del Gado
  • Makarand Paranjape

2. Financial Assistance



The Doctorate Program in Physics is a funded program to earn a Ph.D: Doctoral students receive a stipend for their service to the Department’s academic and research initiatives. As such, the Graduate School promises 5 years of full financial support for full-time Ph.D. students who maintain satisfactory academic progress. Note: the Master’s program, however, is a paid program and does not have a funded component.

  • First and Second Years: Supported by Teaching Assistantships from the Graduate School
  • Third Year and Beyond: Supported through Research Assistantships with funds provided by a combination of fellowships, faculty research grants, and departmental funds
  • Apprenticeships: Supported by ILP partner through a grant

The stipend for the academic year is set each year by the Graduate School. For the 2019-20 academic year, the stipend is $29,000. This stipend is paid bi-weekly from September through April. Summer funding is separate and described below.

More information is available on the Graduate School’s website and at the Graduate School Policies section.


From May through August, the Physics Department provides full-time Ph.D. students a summer stipend. Note: The summer stipend is significantly less than the stipend during the academic year, so students should plan accordingly. The summer stipend type and amount depends on how far along the student is in the program:

  • First Year: Receive a non-service fellowship, a single payment of $5,500
  • Subsequent Years: Receive a bi-weekly service stipend for research
    • Receive $5,500 before taking the Qualifying Exam
    • Increased to $6,500 after passing the Qualifying Exam.


Whether working in industry, academia, or the public sector, a scientist must be able to communicate effectively with different audiences. Working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) helps students develop these skills. It also provides opportunities for students to solidify their understanding of basic physics. In the Physics Department, graduate student TAs typically lead laboratory and tutorial sections of undergraduate physics courses. Course materials are provided by a faculty instructor. Preparation is the key to success. Most TA assignments include a mandatory weekly TA meeting during which TAs work through the laboratory or tutorial activities together, try to identify technical and conceptual problems that might arise in class, and discuss strategies for addressing these issues. The meeting may also involve equipment set-up. In addition, most TAs are expected to hold office hours and grade homework, labs, or exams.

To avoid potential conflicts of interests, a graduate student who is working as a TA for a course should not simultaneously serve as a paid tutor for a student in that course.

Assistantships (and fellowships) include a stipend and a full-tuition scholarship, though this may not be the case for all Master’s students. For 2019-2020, stipends for doctoral arts and sciences programs are $29,000, while stipends for Master’s students in the arts and sciences range from $1,100 to $29,000.


Students are effectively paid to perform research. They begin research assistantships with a faculty mentor in their 2nd or 3rd year. Research assistants receive a stipend, a full tuition waiver, and health-insurance coverage during their assistantship. Often, students in the ILP track will continue to perform research in collaboration with the company that sponsored their apprenticeship.


  • The Department awards the Walter G. Mayer endowed merit-based scholarship in experimental Physics on an annual basis. Application and recipient information is available at the Mayer Scholarship page.
  • Several students in the Department have also been awarded scholarships through the ARCS Foundation.


Graduate School Assistantships carry a service responsibility of 15 hours a week. During the academic year, no graduate student may work more than 20 hours per week while on an assistantship. Under Graduate School regulations, students may therefore work up to 5 additional hours per week for Georgetown University. Students are responsible for ensuring they do not work more than 20 hours per week. International students should be especially vigilant. If international students work more than 20 hours per week, they will be in violation of immigration law.

Students receiving a non-service fellowship stipend (e.g., the summer stipend between the first and second years), are not permitted to work for Georgetown University. Additionally, Ph.D. students who are in their first year of study are expected to devote their time on coursework requirements in additional to any service stipend award duties. As such, these students cannot assume any additional on campus appointments during the first year only.

The Physics Department strongly discourages students on an assistantship from seeking additional work, as the purpose of the assistantship is to allow students to focus on coursework or research. Taking on additional work can interfere with academic progress, and failure to maintain satisfactory progress can result in termination of the assistantship. As mentioned above, recent policy changes states that, first year Ph.D students will not have the ability to serve the institution in addition to their stipend responsibilities.


  • Consult the Taxes section of the Financial Aid Resources page to determine what forms you may need to file
  • Complete the Form I-9
  • International students should meet with Lawrence Smith at the Division of Financial Affairs before beginning a Teaching Assistantship


All students receiving some form of graduate school financial aid must abide by the policies and procedures set forth in the following documents:


Course Registration

  • First year students: registered automatically for courses
  • Second year students: register for the appropriate courses through MyAccess in a timely manner
  • Third year students: register for Thesis Research
  • Fourth year and beyond: registered automatically for Thesis Research


A registration hold may be placed on a student’s record for a variety of reasons.



  • Contact the appropriate office or department and clear the hold before registration
  • Clear registration holds and register before the end of the Add/Drop period or risk withdrawal from the University
  • Request graduate credit for an undergraduate course as required. See below


A student may request graduate credit for an undergraduate course to complete degree requirements or as a substitute for a required course provided that courses is numbered 350 or  above.


Please refer to the Graduate Bulletin for the complete guidelines on academic integrity. The main themes are:

  1. Adhere to the values of “honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility”
  2. Maintain the highest standards of academic integrity while pursuing of their academic goals
  3. Eschew misconduct including, but is not limited to:
    • Plagiarism
    • Unacknowledged paraphrasing
    • Cheating
    • Data fabrication
    • Fabrication, alteration, or misrepresentation of academic records
  4. Refrain from other academic misconduct includes:
    • Facilitating academic dishonesty
    • Collaborating in an unauthorized manner
    • Misuse of otherwise valid academic work
    • Misuse of academic resources
    • Depriving others of equal access to academic resources

Cases of alleged academic misconduct are adjudicated by the Dean of the Graduate School. Anyone who has reason to believe that a graduate student has acted in violation of academic integrity standards is urged to report the case in writing.



The Georgetown graduate experience is tailored to match your academic and professional goals. The process is straight-forward, but as with any program, there are certain benchmarks that help you chart your path. Please find a brief outline of those steps, below. 

  1. Complete 34 hours of credit hours and choose an appropriate academic track:
  2. Participate in 2 Integrative Experiences immediately following the first 2 spring semesters
    • One week group project aimed at integrating coursework
    • Encourages team building and problem solving skills
    • Focuses on a particular technological problem based on a real world need
  3. Successfully pass the Comprehensive Examination after the first year of coursework, one month after spring semester
  4. Attend Physics Colloquium series
  5. Conduct research in several department laboratories to gain access to practical skills in different disciplines
    • Provides exposure to multiple disciplines
    • Participate in 1 lab rotation (non-credit) over the summer and 2 lab rotations (each worth 1.5 credits) during the fall semester of their second year
    • Requires about 10 hours/week
    • Results in the selection of an Academic Advisor
  6. Work directly with an Academic Advisor to gain expertise in a discipline
  7. Cultivate a relationship with an Industrial Advisor to gain insight into real world opportunities
  8. Form a Thesis Committee, conduct thesis research, pass the Qualifying Examination
  9. Conduct research and write a Dissertation


To earn the Ph.D in Physics, a student must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Perform well and earn 34 credits in the coursework (maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above)a
  2. Participate in the Integrative Experience after the 1st two semesters of coursework
  3. Complete 3 Lab Rotations and choose an Academic Advisor
  4. Pass the Comprehensive Examination, typically before beginning their second year
  5. Pass the Qualifying Examination, within 18 months of completing coursework or directly after an apprenticeship
  6. Research, write and defend a Dissertationb

a. The Graduate School requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 at graduation. Therefore, when a student’s GPA falls below this level, or when a student receives an “F” in a course, the student will receive warnings from the Graduate School. Receipt of a second “F” results in termination from the degree program. Within the Physics graduate program, a student who receives a “C” as a final course grade will be given an oral warning. Upon receiving a second “C” the student will be issued a written warning. Receipt of a third “C” results in termination from the program.
b. A student who finishes all of their coursework is expected to make satisfactory progress in their research. Satisfactory progress is assessed by the research mentor, the thesis committee, and the graduate committee. Failure to meet the appropriate progress will trigger a written warning. Continued failure can trigger withholding of pay and/or termination from the program.

Annual Progress Report

Students are required to submit an Annual Progress Report by September 15th of detailing their work over the previous year. Review of these reports will serve as one of the means for determining satisfactory academic progress within the program.


  • Complete Three Sections:
    1. Successfully completed courses
    2. Fulfilled examination requirements, (i.e. the Comprehensive Exam)
    3. Expectations for the next year (one paragraph)
  • Submit report to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and the Chair of the Department for review


  • Complete 4 sections:
    1. List courses, both completed and outstanding, necessary to fulfill departmental requirements
    2. Describe all research rotations completed (one paragraph)
    3. Describe trajectory within the program (ILP or Standard) include progress made toward securing a research apprenticeship or position within a research group
    4. Outline goals for the next year (one paragraph)
  • Submit report to the DGS, Chair of Department, and all Advisors, if the student as joined a research group


  • Complete 4 sections where applicable:
    1. Discuss current research projects either ongoing at Georgetown or performed during the Apprenticeship
    2. Cite any milestones such as fellowship applications, awards, and publications
    3. List thesis committee members (Standard Track only) or summarize accomplishments made in apprenticeship (ILP Track only)
    4. Outlining goals for the next year, such as preparation for the Qualifying Exam
  • Submit report to the DGS and Chair of the Department, all Advisors, and if established, members of the Thesis Committee


  • Complete 3 sections where applicable:
    1. Include a brief description of current research topics, and any milestones to date. For example, publications and fellowships, a list of talks given at scientific meetings, refereeing duties, and any accolades
    2. List the names of thesis committee members
    3. Outlining goals for the next year (one paragraph)
  • Submit report to the DGS and Chair of the Department, all Advisors, and if established, members of the Thesis Committee


Reports will be reviewed by all relevant faculty. If faculty approve of the report, this will be sent to the student and indicates maintaining satisfactory progress within the program unless they have been informed otherwise. If faculty raise questions about the report that cannot be successfully responded to by the student, the thesis committee or an ad hoc committee set by the DGS will evaluate the student’s progress with additional scrutiny to determine if satisfactory academic progress is being made.



The colloquia are valuable educational events that provide an introduction to areas of current research. The speakers generally present talks appropriate for non-experts. Graduate students are encouraged to suggest speakers and topics for colloquia.


  • Registered for the colloquium course (PHYS-501 in the Fall and PHYS-502 in the Spring)
  • Attend all colloquia events and participate in a discussion following the talk
  • Score a pass or fail based on individual participation


  • Participation is one of the requirements for making satisfactory academic progress
  • Attend at least five colloquia each semester
  • Exceptions made for a student conducting research off-campus or with conflicting classes or TA assignments
  • Notify the instructor of record if circumstances such as illness or an emergency prevent attendance, currently Amy Liu


All Ph.D. students are required to take Intellectual Property Issues course (PHYS-523). The course is graded on a pass/fail basis and will only be offered during the summer every 2-3 years.


  • Purpose
    • Teaches practical research in different groups
    • Develops experimental and computational skills
    • Assists specialization decision leading to the dissertation
  • Expectation
    • Choose lab rotation in conjunction with the Director of Graduate Studies and your professors
    • Engage in first lab rotation (non-credit) directly after the Comprehensive Exam
    • Complete the Add/Drop Form
    • Register for 2 half-semester lab rotations, PHYS-535 and PHYS-537 (each worth 1.5 credits), during the fall semester of the Second Year
    • Devote about 10 hours per week on these labs




  • 15 credits in the core topics:
    • Quantum Mechanics
    • Electricity and Magnetism
    • Statistical Mechanics
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Solid State Physics
  • 4 credits in Experimental and/or Computational Methods
  • 3 credits of Lab Rotations
  • 3 credits of Colloquia
  • 3 credits of introductory business courses for ILP Program Track
  • 6 remaining credits of electives chose in consultation with Advisors and the DGS
  Standard Physics Track Industrial Leadership Track
(Year 1)

Integrated Experience 
(conducted during exam period)

Integrated Experience 
(conducted during exam period)

(Year 1)

Integrated Experience (conducted during exam period)

Integrated Experience (conducted during exam period)

(Year 1)
(Year 2)
2 Electives:

Plus 2 Physics Lab Rotations
(PHYS-535 & -537)

1 Elective:

One Business/Finance Course:

Plus 2 Physics Lab Rotations
(PHYS-535 & -538)

(Year 3)
1 Elective 

Plus Thesis Research – 03 (PHYS 999-03)

One Business/Finance Course:

1 Elective:

Plus Thesis Research – 03 (PHYS 999-03)

Comprehensive Examination

All Ph.D. students must pass a Comprehensive Examination covering the following subjects at the advanced undergraduate level:

  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical Mechanics

The exam consists of two (2) 4-hour written parts administered over two consecutive days. It is given once a year, during the summer. If a student’s performance on the written exam is borderline between satisfactory and unsatisfactory, the graduate committee may request that the student take an oral exam to allow for a better assessment. Past exam can be found on the Comprehensive Examination page.

  • Full-time Students: sit for the exam during the summer of the student’s first and second year, typically a month after exams in mid-July. Those who do not pass the exam can take the exam the following year, but students who do not pass the exam before the beginning of their third year will be terminated from the degree program.
  • Part-time Students: take the exam by the first summer after completion of their coursework. Part-time students who do not pass can take the exam again the following summer. Failure to pass at that time will result in termination from the Ph.D. program.

Thesis Committee

  • Design Thesis Committee before taking the Qualifying Examination
  • Form Committee using the following guidelines:
    • Minimum of 3 faculty members from the Physics Department
    • At least 1 member from outside the Department (e.g. ILP mentor, member of National Lab, etc.)
    • Include at least 1 experimentalist and 1 theorist
    • Involve the Industrial Apprenticeship mentor (for ILP Program Track)
    • Certify members:
    1. All possess a Ph.D. in Physics or a related field
    2. Are a faculty member at a university OR possess a professional appointment at a research institution and holds a position equal to or exceeding an assistant professor
    3. Are not all from the same academic unit
    4. Are not all collaborators with the student or the advisor over the past 48 months
    5. Are not all from the same Physics discipline
  • Any exceptions to these guidelines must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies
  • Submit the proposed thesis committee using the Thesis Proposal Form to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval at least 6 weeks before the Qualifying Examination
  • Any revisions to the Thesis Proposal Form reflecting feedback from the Thesis Committee should be submitted to the DGS within two weeks after the Qualifying Examination.
  • Report progress regularly to Graduate Committee to ensure a timely conclusion

Qualifying Examination

The Qualifying Examination is a written report and an oral presentation to a student’s Thesis Committee. The report and presentation discuss research progress to date and present the proposed thesis project. While there are no length requirements for the examination, most written reports are 15-20 pages and most presentations are 30 minutes long.

ILP Program Track

  • Apprenticeship considerations:
    • Take the exam within 6 months of Apprenticeship completion
    • Take the examination no later than 18 months after coursework (provided Apprenticeship is delayed)
    • Detail relevant work conducted on Apprenticeship
  • Take the examination 18 months after completion of coursework
  • Describe how work motivates thesis proposal
  • Present preliminary results

Standard Track

  • Take the examination 18 months after completion of coursework
  • Provide Thesis Committee members the written report at least 2 weeks prior to the oral presentation
  • Present preliminary results

Both the ILP and Standard Track

  • Field questions from the committee members following the presentation: Questions will probe the depth and breadth of the student’s knowledge of the broader research field based on the student’s written and oral presentations
  • Results:
    • Achieve the unanimous approval of the Thesis Committee and therefore advance to Doctoral Candidacy
    • Increased summer stipend
    • Retake the examination in the event of failure no less than 3 and no more than 6 months after the initial examination
    • Face dismissal from the program after 2nd failure

Dissertation Proposal 

Within 1 year of passing the Qualifying Examination, students must file their Dissertation Proposal Form. Each member of the Thesis Committee, as well as the Director of Graduate Studies, must approve the form before it is submitted to the GPC, who will make a copy for departmental records and submit the original form to the Graduate School.

Dissertation and Defense Preparation

Note: all necessary forms are available on the Graduate School’s Academic Forms page.

  1. Complete the Dissertation Proposal Form with the appropriate signatures and submit to the GPC
  2. Consult the Graduate School’s Guidelines for Dissertation and Thesis Writers and adhere to formatting and procedural requirements
  3. Download the Dissertation template from the Graduate School’s Dissertation and Thesis Information page.
  4. Apply to Graduate using MyAccess
    • Consult the instructions are available on the Graduate School’s How to Graduate page
    • Apply before the first business day of the month of graduation, e.g. before December 1st for Fall or before May 1st for Spring
  5. Ensure Committee – certified by a majority vote – that all shortcomings will be addressed before Defense and only minor revisions will be required after the Defense
  6. Deliver draft to Committee at least six weeks prior to the target date for Defense
    • Submit by October 22, 2018 for Fall Graduation
    • Submit by March 20, 2019 for Spring Graduation
  7. Coordinate date, time, and place for Defense (usually Regent’s Hall, Room 351) with the GPC
    • Deadline to upload dissertation to Graduate School for Fall Graduation is December 13, 2018 
    • Deadline to upload dissertation to Graduate School for Spring Graduation is April 22, 2019
  8. Submit the Doctoral Dissertation Reviewers Report
    • Submit at least one week before Defense date


  1. Deliver a public 30-minute oral presentation open to the academic community
  2. Answer questions from attendees during the public phase of the exam
  3. Answer additional questions by the Thesis Committee during the private phase of the exam
  4. Wait immediately following the defense while the Thesis Committee decides the result in a closed meeting
    • Passing the Dissertation Defense requires the approval of all or all but one of the committee members
    • Presenting for a 2nd time must be made within 3 months of the first attempt
    • Failing the defense for the 2nd time will lead to dismissal from the Ph.D. program
  5. Revise Dissertation as requested by the Thesis Committee
  6. Submit Dissertation Cover Sheet to the GPC
  7. Submit Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Release Form to the Graduate School
  8. Upload your dissertation for formatting review by the Graduate School.
  9. Complete any edits assigned by the Graduate School. 
    • Complete edits by the last day of the month in which you intend to graduate; otherwise your dissertation will not be accepted and you will not be eligible to graduate (see below).
    • December 2018 Graduation:
      • Submit your dissertation by December 13, 2018
      • Complete all steps for the Graduate School to approve your dissertation by close of business on December 20, 2018
    • May 2019 Graduation:
      • Submit your dissertation by April 22, 2019
      • Complete all steps for the Graduate School to approve your dissertation by close of business on May 1, 2019
  10. Submit your Survey of Earned Doctorates
  11. Lastly, if you may want to put an embargo on your thesis, in the event that you seek publication or a patent

Elective Credit and Plan Modifications 

Requests for modifications to the standard course of study must be made to the graduate committee of the Department of Physics in the form of a written plan of study that lists all of the proposed coursework and provides a rationale for the proposed modifications. The plan must provide the necessary preparation for the student’s academic and professional goals, and all necessary prerequisites for the proposed courses must be satisfied.

Master’s in Passing

Once Ph.D. students complete the course requirements (34 credits), typically at the end of their second year, they are eligible to receive the M.S. degree. Students may request the Master’s in Passing degree by submitting the Student Petition for Change in Graduate Degree form to the Graduate School.

8. Master’s Degree Requirements

Master’s Option

Students pursuing the M.S. degree may elect to follow one of two tracks:

  • Academic Track:
    • Complete at least 31 credits with at least 7 graduate physics courses of 3 credits or more
    • Complete at least 2 additional department-approved courses
  • Thesis Track:
    • Complete at least 31 credits with at least 7 graduate physics courses of 3 credits or more and at least 1 additional department-approved course
    • Complete and defend a thesis
  Academic Track Thesis Track
(Year 1)

Integrated Experience (conducted during exam period)

Integrated Experience (conducted during exam period)

(Year 1)

Integrated Experience (conducted during exam period)

Integrated Experience (conducted during exam period)

(Year 1)
(Year 2)
2 Electives:

Plus 2 Physics Lab Rotations (PHYS-535 & -537)

2 Electives:

Plus 2 Physics Lab Rotations (PHYS-535 & -537)

(Year 3)
2 Electives:

Plus Thesis Research* – 03 (PHYS 999-03)

Thesis Research* – 01 (PHYS 999-01)
[can be taken in Spring Year 2, if completed all coursework]

*Information regarding the thesis is available in the section below


For an M.S. thesis, students are required to form a thesis committee consisting of their research advisor, the director of graduate studies (or an alternate appointed by the DGS), and one other member of the ordinary faculty. The M.S. thesis should be based on research performed at Georgetown or during an industrial apprenticeship.

Students must file a Thesis Proposal Form with the Graduate School. At the latest, this should be done at the beginning of the semester during which the student plans to apply for the degree. Each member of the thesis committee must approve the form before it is submitted to the Graduate School.

Students should consult the Graduate School’s Guidelines for Dissertation and Thesis Writers before beginning the thesis and should adhere to these formatting and procedural requirements during its preparation.

Committee members should be given a draft of the thesis at least four weeks prior to the target date for the thesis defense. The committee members should notify the student of requests for major revisions at least one week prior to the scheduled defense.

The thesis defense begins with a public presentation by the candidate. The candidate delivers a 45-minute oral presentation at a level appropriate for a general physics audience. Any member of the academic community may attend and ask questions during this phase of the exam. Following the public phase, which lasts about an hour, the committee meets alone with the candidate to ask additional questions. The defense is chaired by a member of the committee other than the thesis advisor.

Immediately following the defense, the committee holds a closed meeting to decide whether the defense was successful. Passing the thesis defense requires a unanimous vote by the committee. A student who does not pass the defense on the first try is allowed a second attempt, which must be made within three months of the first attempt.

Students failing the thesis defense for the second time will be dismissed from the M.S. program. Attempting the thesis defense commits a student to the M.S. with the thesis option. After that point, the student may not switch to the coursework-only M.S. option.

The most up-to-date information on the Master’s thesis procedures is located at the Graduate School’s Thesis Information page.

Elective Credit and Plan Modifications

Requests for elective credit or for modifications to any part of the program must be made to the graduate committee of the Department of Physics in the form of a written plan of study that lists all of the proposed coursework and provides a rationale for the proposed modifications. In order to be approved, the plan must provide necessary preparation for the student’s academic and professional goals, and all the prerequisites for the proposed courses must be satisfied.

9. ILP Apprenticeship

After completing three or four semesters of coursework and passing the Comprehensive Exam, students on the Industrial Leadership in Physics (ILP) track usually spend one year on an Industrial Apprenticeship. During this time, they work on problems of interest to the industrial partner at the company site. This is a great opportunity for students to use their physics knowledge and skills to solve problems of an applied nature and to experience the R&D environment in a company. Examples of organizations that have recently hosted ILP Apprentices include Procter & Gamble, Luna Technologies, NIST, and IBM.

The research mentor and the Director of Graduate Studies work with the student to identify apprenticeship opportunities based on the student’s research interests and experience. Once mutual interest has been established, the faculty mentor and the DGS work with the Office of Sponsored Programs to set up a contract with the company. All apprenticeships must be approved by the Graduate Committee.

Special Considerations for International Students 

International students must apply to the Office of Global Services to get approval for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), and their apprenticeships must not be longer than 11.5 months. To apply for CPT, students should contact OGS six weeks before the start of the Apprenticeship and provide:

  1. Letter of offer from the employer
  2. Dates of the apprenticeship
  3. Letter from the department stating that the apprenticeship is required (see the GPC).
  4. Make sure that the GPC has a copy of the student’s passport, social security card, visa, and I-20 form

Before beginning any apprenticeship, international students must contact Lawrence Smith in the Tax Office.

10. Industrial Leadership in Physics Organization (ILPO)

The Industrial Leadership in Physics Organization (ILPO) is an organization created and operated by students. ILPO focuses on developing relationships with other Georgetown graduate programs, building relationships with the business school, and supporting all of the physics graduate students by fostering greater communication and involvement among them. It is affiliated with the Graduate Student Organization and represented therein by an officer from the ILPO.

11. FAQS

Q. What vacation and/or paid leave does a student receive?

A. The university-wide holiday schedule for employees applies to graduate students holding assistantships. Assistantships do not include any paid vacation time.

Q. What if I want to travel during the summer months?

A. If you are receiving a summer service (or non-service) stipend, you are required to be working (or fulfilling degree requirements) during the summer months. Any travel must be approved beforehand, and any absence longer than a month will automatically trigger a loss of pay for that month.

Q. Is there an Honor code for Graduate Students?

A. Yes. All graduate students should follow the guidelines for academic integrity set out in the Graduate Bulletin.

Q. How safe are a student’s personal belongings?

A. The campus is generally safe, but burglaries do occur. Thefts of backpacks and laptops have been reported in the Reiss Science Building and Regents Hall. We urge all students to lock office doors to secure their belongings, especially during the summer and winter breaks.

Q. Do graduate students have to pay the Yates Fee?

A. Yes. It is a mandatory fee for all full-time students. The Graduate School Assistantship does not cover this fee.

Q. When do classes begin and end? When are breaks?

A. Please see the Registrar’s academic calendar.

12. University Support Resources

If you are ever in need of assistance or would like more information, please consult the following resources or contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.