UH-Clear Lake and UH Announce Collaborative Physics Program

Area future physicists hoping to attain a Ph.D. will have another option with the help of a new collaborative program between University of Houston-Clear Lake and University of Houston. The agreement, which will allow students to begin the program as early as fall 2007 semester, offers a smooth transition for students in UH-Clear Lake’s Master of Science in Physics program into UH’s Ph.D. program.

“This is a great opportunity for us to join forces with our sister system university,” said UH-Clear Lake Faculty Chair and Assistant Professor of Physics David Garrison. “This partnership allows some of the local Clear Lake area scientists to work and to continue their education part-time or full-time without having to travel to downtown Houston to complete their degrees.”

Students initially apply to the master’s program at UH-Clear Lake. If the student then decides to go on for a doctorate, he/she will apply to a joint admissions committee comprising UH and UH-Clear Lake faculty. The student can then complete the UH Ph.D. program at UH-Clear Lake and/or UH.

Classes will be taught by UH and UH-Clear Lake faculty, with both universities’ instructors available to serve on thesis committees. The doctoral degree would be conferred by UH.

“We are excited about this new relationship with our fellow campus,” said UH Professor and Chair of Physics Lawrence S. Pinsky. “It will not only provide opportunities for students from the Clear Lake area to pursue Ph.D. degrees in physics, but it will also allow us to add the expertise of our colleagues at UH-Clear Lake to our faculty mix.

“Hopefully, this arrangement will act as an archetype for similar associations between other departments and colleges at our two institutions.”

Garrison says the program was developed after requests from the community and responses to several surveys completed during the past five years. Responses to the surveys overwhelmingly supported such a partnership.

“With the many scientists in the Gulf Coast region, we are not surprised by the support from the community for this partnership,” said Garrison. “The average doctoral program in physics has a graduate enrollment of approximately 65 students. Our enrollment could exceed 100 graduate students within a few years based on current UH-Clear Lake physics enrollment, national trends and survey results.”

While most Ph.D. physics programs have an average completion time of six years, this program has a 10-year cap, allowing for those with busy schedules to complete the program without having to attend class full time.

“This type of program is the first of its kind for those seeking advanced degrees in physics” added Garrison. “I look forward to working with the UH physics faculty.”

For more information about the UH-Clear Lake/UH collaborative physics program, call Garrison, 281-283-3796, or e-mail garrison@uhcl.edu.

University of Houston-Clear Lake’s School of Science and Computer Engineering offers 23 degree programs in 14 fields to prepare graduates for careers in natural sciences, mathematics, computing and computer and software engineering. For more information about the School of Science and Computer Engineering, visit http://sce.uhcl.edu or call 281-283-3700.