Student FAQs

Who is my TA?

A current list of TA's is kept on the Graduate Student page of our website. The schedule of labs is on the Student Labs page.

Where is my TA mailbox?

Mailboxes are located on the wall of the West hallway on the second floor of the Leifson Physics building (on one of the outside walls of the Goudsmidt Conference Room, LP 208). The mailboxes are recessed into the wall and alphabetized. If you cannot find your TA's mailbox, please stop by the main physics office for assistance.

Where is my lab?

Physics labs are held in the following rooms: DMS 201, 203, 208, 209, 210, 212, all of which are on the second floor of the Davidson Math and Science Building. Signs are posted designating which lab will be held in which room for a given lab time. If you would like to look at a schedule in advance, please refer to the Student Labs page.

Where is my lab manual?

To save students textbook costs, labs are posted online, and can be downloaded in PDF format. To find your specific lab, visit the Student Labs page, and select the correct week and physics class. All physics classes with the same number have the same lab.

How do I turn in homework to my instructor's mailbox?

Your physics instructor(lecturer) has a mailbox in the Physics Office, in Leifson Physics 225. Please ask an office staff member and they will assist you.  Your physics lab teaching assistant will have a mailbox located on the second floor of the LP building. Mailboxes are located on the east side of the hallway recessed in the wall, with your TA's name printed on the mailbox. If you can't find your TA's name, feel free to stop by the physics office and ask for further assistance.

How do I reserve the Goudsmidt Conference Room (LP 208)?

The Goudsmidt Conference Room can be reserved by checking the department calendar to see if the conference room is available. If it is available, email the Physics office at with the desired time and date, along with the purpose of your reservation. Please note, some events may require approval from the department chair.

How can I get tutoring in physics?

Tutoring in physics is offered through the Tutoring Center.

What are the prerequisites for specific physics courses?

Physics Course
  • Phys 151R
  • Phys 152R
  • Phys 180
  • Phys 181
  • Phys 182
  • Math 128, (Co-requisite: Math 181)
  • Phys 151R
  • Math 181
  • Phys 180/180L & Math 182
  • Phys 181/181L & Math 283R

Please note, that although physics courses and their laboratories are co-requisites, it is okay to take the lecture portion of the course one semester and then take the laboratory portion subsequently.

Where can I get the Comprehensive exams?

Physics comprehensive exams are located in the library reserves. A selection of these is also hosted on the physics website at the Past Comprehensive Exams page, under Student Resources.

Can I use the Physics Computer Lab? How?

The physics computer lab is available for use to all University of Nevada Physics Majors. To get an account, please visit the physics office in Leifson Physics Room 225.

How can I change my address and other personal information?

Your personal information can be updated for the University through MyNEVADA. In addition, please stop by the physics department and update your information with us as well.

How can I choose my graduate academic advisor?

Choosing your research project and academic advisor are some of the most important choices a student will make in graduate school. It is something new graduate students should be thinking about as early as possible. In the fall semester, the department often offers research talks from current faculty members. Attending these talks and reading the faculty web pages on the department web site are a good way to become familiar with the research areas in the department. We encourage students to contact faculty members during their first semester to learn about research opportunities, and to volunteer to work in a research group part-time during their second semester as a way to see if a research topic and an advisor would be a good fit.

How can I transfer my graduate program of study, from Ph.D to Master or vice-versa?

To transfer from the Master's program to the PhD program, you must re-apply through the graduate school. Please contact them for details, visit the graduate school webpage.

To transfer from the PhD program to the Master's program requires a memo from the department signed by the Director of Graduate Studies and the student. If you wish to do this, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Can I graduate from Ph.D or Master by working as a TA without ever having a RA ?

Being an RA is not a requirement for graduation. We strongly encourage students to follow an RA path since this will make students more marketable in physics careers after school. Also be advised that there are limits on the number of years you may be supported as a TA: 3 years for a Master's degree, and 5 years for a PhD.

What are the academic standards for Graduate Students?

From the Catalog and the Graduate School websites, Graduate Students must complete graduate courses, with a "C" or better in order for that course to be acceptable toward a graduate degree. The GPA must be a cumulative 3.0 or better on a scale of 4.0. If the Graduate Student's GPA is one to six grade points below the 3.0 GPA requirement, the student is put on academic probation. If the student does not raise his or her grade to 3.0 by the end of the next semester, the student is dismissed from graduate standing.

For more detailed information, please visit the Graduate Academic Standing Page.

What happens if a graduate student fails the comprehensive exam two times?

Graduate students are allowed to retake the comprehensive exam once. If, on the second attempt, the committee decides that the student has not passed, the student will not be allowed to become a PhD candidate.

Can I take more than six or seven (first semester only) credits while being a graduate assistant? How can I make this work, including finances?

TA's are typically not allowed to take additional credits, since the workload is fuller. RA's may be allowed to, but it is something you should discuss with your advisor. In the case that you do not yet have an advisor, it should be discussed with the Director of Graduate Studies.