Mathematical Physics Curriculum
Each year, the Mathematical Physics Sector selects up to 4 students to attend a three/four years Ph. D. programme leading to a Ph. D. in Mathematical Physics. The main selection procedure consists of an entrance examination. This is divided in two parts: a written test where applicants are asked to solve problems among a list given by the entrance examination committee. The oral examination consists of a discussion of the written test and in a brief exposition of the applicant's “tesi di Laurea” (Master thesis), or any equivalent work for foreign students. Scientific publications, curricula and references of the applicants are also evaluated for the final ranking.
Foreign applicants may be admitted on the sole basis of their scientific backgrounds, publications and references, in a pre-selection procedure to be held by the end of April.
In the first year of their Ph. D. program, students attend both basic and more advanced courses. They are required to pass examinations up to obtain nine cycles (a cycle is typically equivalent to 20 hours of lectures) to be admitted to the second year. Examinations typically consist of a seminar-exam to be delivered in front of the other members of the Sector and/or some written excercises. A tutor (usually a junior member of the Faculty) is assigned to each of them, to help them to choose their curricula studiorum.
In the first months of their second year students start a research project, under the supervision of a staff member of the sector or of an external collaborator, in one of the research areas of the Sector. Second year students must submit a brief resume of the methods and perspectives of their research project and discuss it in the “Qualifying Examination”. Students not passing that examination may be allowed to pursue a restricted research project, to be completed by the end of the Academic year. After submitting a thesis, they can obtain a degree called “Magister Philosophiae”.
Students passing successfully the Qualifying Examination pursue their research program up to the end of their final year, their only duty being that of taking part in the scientific life of the sector, e.g. attending the sector seminar activities.
Students obtain the Ph. D. degree in Mathematical Physics after submitting their Ph. D. thesis and defending it in front of a Ph. D. examination committee, whose members include SISSA staff members, external experts of the field and two external professors appointed by the Italian Ministry of Education and Research (MIUR). The Ph. D. degrees in Mathematical Physics awarded by SISSA are by law equivalent to the Italian degree of “Dottore di Ricerca in Matematica”.