PhD programs

The PhD program in Physics in the School of Sciences and Humanities (SSH) at Nazarbayev University (NU) is designed to provide advanced skills and knowledge base at an expert level for individuals planning a career in academia, industry and research settings in Kazakhstan and abroad. The program focuses on the enhancement of knowledge by advanced courses and development of research skills at a high level. 

 

About

The PhD program in Physics especially focuses on priority areas for Kazakhstan, serving as a foundation for future high-tech industries and knowledge-based economy. By the completion of the PhD program, students will be capable of designing and conducting independent, innovative, original and high quality research on a variety of topics in Physics as well as interdisciplinary topics. In addition, program graduates will be prepared for working in industrial and academic environments including positions of university faculty members, senior researchers, high-tech entrepreneurs, engineers, product developers and science & technology policy makers

Students are required to complete 240 ECTS credits, in 4 years, which is in line with the Regulatory Framework for Graduate Programs and Courses of Nazarbayev University (2019).

The program consists of comprehensive course work and research activity. The courses are designed to enable students to acquire highly advanced and cutting-edge knowledge in Physics. After passing a comprehensive exam and PhD proposal defense, students are required to develop and practice novel research within the area of Physics or an interdisciplinary field related to Physics. Research components of the program and dissertation defense will be passed by each student to complete the program and graduate

Requirements

Applicants applying to the Ph.D in Physics are expected to have:

1) an undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) and master’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline, to be determined by the Admissions Committee (Admission Committee is in charge to decide what discipline is relevant or not).

2) a minimum CGPA of 2.75 out of 4.00 in their highest degree;

3) the required level of English proficiency;

4) two confidential letters of recommendation. One of the two recommendations shall be written by a current or previous employer or research supervisor. The second referee may be chosen at the applicant’s discretion;

5) a statement of purpose not exceeding 1000 words, explaining the motivation to enroll in the Ph.D. in Physics program and the tentative choice of the research subject. Applicants are encouraged to contact Faculty members to discuss potential research projects under their supervision;

6) strong reading, analytical and mathematical skills as demonstrated by GRE test (optional). Although an official GRE score is not an essential requirement, an applicant can enhance her/his application with a competitive GRE score;

7) a curriculum vitae (up to two A4 pages);

The absolute minimum requirement for English language proficiency test reports for admission to the Ph.D. Program is: overall IELTS (except IELTS Online) test score of 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each subscore), or the equivalent TOEFL (except TOEFL Home Edition) score as posted on the ETS website.

The absolute minimum requirement for English language proficiency test report for admission to Zero Year of Graduate Programs is an overall IELTS (except IELTS Online) test score of 5.5, only one subscore out of four can be at least 5.0, other subscores must be at least 5.5 or the equivalent TOEFL (except TOEFL Home Edition) scores as posted on the ETS website.


Applicants to the Program, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, can be exempted from submitting the language proficiency test report if:

– one of their earlier academic degrees was earned in a country with English as the language of official communication, academic instruction and daily life;

– a Master’s degree or equivalent was earned in a program which was officially taught in English;

– the applicant is a graduate of University.

Application package checklist for the Ph.D in Physics program:

1) complete Application form for Ph.D. Program;

2) scanned copy of official degree diplomas/certificates with transcripts (verified);

3) scanned copy of document confirming English as the language of instruction (only for applicants who earned their degree in a program which was taught in English and request an exemption from submitting IELTS (except IELTS Online) or TOEFL (except TOEFL Home Edition));

4) scanned copy of Passport/national ID (international applicants must provide a scanned copy of passport);

5) two confidential letters of recommendation written within the last 12 months (to be provided by referees via University system or in scanned copy);

6) scanned copy of a curriculum vitae (up to two A4 pages);

7) a statement of purpose not exceeding 1000 words, explaining the motivation to enroll on the Ph.D. Program, and the tentative choice of the research subject;

8) scanned copy of official document confirming name change (if applicable);

9) verified score report of valid Academic IELTS (except IELTS Online) or TOEFL (except TOEFL Home Edition) test certificate downloaded from the Test Administrator system and its scanned copy. The last IELTS (except IELTS Online)/TOEFL (except TOEFL Home Edition) certificate submitted to the Personal account will be considered in the admission competition. IELTS (except IELTS Online) or TOEFL (except TOEFL Home Edition) certificate valid (no more than 2 years) as of date of online documents submission. An applicant must indicate the Nazarbayev University as a recipient when registering for the test. In case if the applicant passed the test earlier, he/she can contact the test center and indicate the University as a recipient;

10) verified score report of valid GRE test certificate valid as of date of online documents submission and its scanned copy (optional). An applicant must indicate Nazarbayev University as a recipient when registering for the test. In case the applicant passed the test earlier, he/she can contact the test center and indicate the Nazarbayev University as a recipient.

Duration

4 years

Career and Internship Support

Students will benefit from a number of contacts with the international scientific community as well as industry. Strong scientific ties have already been established with other outside bodies engaged in research. All students have the opportunity to take part in a 6 to 12 month internship at an international host research institution. The host supervisor and supervisory team at NU will maintain communication with the student throughout the student’s stay in order to make an efficient use of the host premises and facilities for the benefit of the PhD student

Program structure

The PhD program will typically be conducted over 48 months full time. Each student will develop their personal and professional skills and their PhD program as part of the core curriculum courses. The program includes the possibility of taught courses (during the first year) to support the development of postgraduate research students, to extend and test their knowledge in their research discipline. Each student will be required to formally pass a comprehensive exam at the second year and defend their PhD proposal at the end of the third semester. The program will then progress into a period dedicated to their research topic, from which a demonstrable original contribution to the knowledge pool will be assessed. Continuation into a 5th year is possible upon approval and may come with specific requisites and stipulations. The program includes the possibility of a mobility period of 6-12 months in a host university abroad in order to provide the students with international experience. 

Funding

**Ample funding is available for local and international students, with the majority receiving a full scholarship and stipend.**

To get more details follow the link: https://nu.edu.kz/admissions/formoffinance

Doctoral students are given the opportunity to work at NU as a Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) or research assistants (RAs).




Important dates
    Application periods for Ph.D. programs:
  • for International applicants: December 5, 2022 – February 28, 2023 inclusive
  • for the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan: December 5, 2022 – April 18, 2023 inclusive
        The final deadline for submission of IELTS/TOEFL, GRE certificates
      • for International applicants: March 15, 2023 inclusive
      • for the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan May 3, 2023 inclusive

        The start of orientation week: August 7, 2023

        First day of classes: August 14, 2023

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