In collaboration with the Department of Geophysics, the Department offers the postgraduate doctoral studies in physics, which qualify students for experimental or theoretical scientific research in the chosen field of physics. Therefore, the studies include both teaching and research components. Participation of teachers from other Croatian institutions has been envisaged, and visits of teachers from leading foreign universities and institutes are also possible. Research work is integrated into scientific projects of renowned laboratories and groups, and led by experienced mentors. To enrol the study, a student must have completed a corresponding graduate study of physics. Candidates whose studies so far have not been in complete correspondence may enrol with additional obligation to pass prescribed examinations. Upon completion of the doctoral studies in physics the students are competent for contemporary scientific research in physics.
Doctoral program in physics presents continuation of a long tradition of doctorates in physics at the University of Zagreb. Let us mention the long tradition of Croatian geophysics (the geophysical observatory dates from 1861., with scientists and teachers such as Andrija Mohorovičić), as well as regular lectures in natural sciences at the Philosophical Faculty, begun in 1876., with Vinko Dvořák as the first physics professor at the renewed University of Zagreb.
Physics in Zagreb was among the first in this part of Europe which had postgraduate programs leading to a doctorate, following the internationally recognized pattern. Namely, Professors Ivan Supek and Mladen Paić have introduced lectures for postgraduate students already in the 1950's, as an introduction to scientific research under the guidance of a mentor.
The gradual relocation of the Faculty of Science to new buildings at Horvatovac, in the immediate vicinity of the Ruđer Bošković Institute and the Institute of Physics has created a "natural science park" with new opportunities to organize doctoral studies.
A special effort is made to connect the doctoral studies in physics at the University of Zagreb to those of other Central European universities. Cooperation along these lines has already been institutionalized, especially in the physics of elementary particles, resulting in letters of intent and cooperation contracts, signed by the rectors or heads, respectively, of the following institutions:
1. Charles University - Prague (Faculty of Mathematics and Physics)
2. Comenius University Bratislava (Faculty of Physics, Mathematics and Informatics)
3. Eötvös University Budapest
4. International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Trieste
5. University of Ljubljana
6. University of Padua
7. University of Trieste
8. University of Vienna (Faculty of Physics)
9. University of Zagreb (Faculty of Science - PMF)
The study is composed as a regular three-year university course of study in several fields: Elementary particle physics, Nuclear physics, Condensed matter physics, Atomic and molecular physics and Astrophysics, Biophysics, Medical physics, and Geophysics. In the course of the study a student should successfully complete all activities prescribed in the programme and acquire at least 180 ECTS points. In the first year the emphasis is on obligatory courses, while the participation in appropriately chosen elective courses shifts the emphasis towards full scientific research activity during the higher years. During the first two years the students may acquire 60 ECTS points by following the chosen courses and passing the requisite examinations. The remaining ECTS points should be acquired through scientific research and seminars during the second and the third year of the study, when each student takes part in the research activities of a chosen scientific research laboratory or group and in the scientific subject matter of the thesis advisor. In order to complete doctoral study, a student is required to defend doctoral thesis. The students who complete the study obtain the degree