Master's Degree Research

Letter from the Department of Physics Graduate Director

Dear Student,

Are you wondering, “How do I get into the best PhD programs in physics?” Or, “I want to go into industry after I graduate, but how do I acquire the research experience to qualify?” 

Apply to the MS program in physics at Miami University. 

  • Miami Physics consistently ranks in the top five (of 62 terminal MS departments in physics) to graduate the largest number of physics majors.
  • The Physics MS program is one of eleven “top-tier” programs among forty graduate programs at Miami as ranked by the Graduate School.
  • In the past ten years, 95 MS students graduated from our program; 65 students entered PhD programs and 25 entered the STEM workforce. Our program served as a "gateway" to top-quality physics PhD programs, such as Rochester, Michigan, Colorado, Purdue, Penn State, North Carolina State, UC San Diego, UC Riverside, New Mexico, Oregon, Maryland, etc.  The remaining students went into industry, national labs, or positions at universities and high schools.
  • In the past ten years, 92 out of 95 MS students performed significant (publication-worthy) research activity that culminated in a research thesis. 

“Does Miami offer competitive stipends to its MS students?”

Yes! A 100% tuition waiver plus a stipend is provided to Masters' students.

  • For 2023-2024, the offer of admission includes a teaching assistantship for the 9-month academic year of $18,833.
  • An additional $1,500 stipend may be earned, depending on availability, by students performing physics research during summer. Some professors may further augment graduate summer stipends from research grants. 
  • Students opting for grading or teaching assistant duties during summer may earn an additional $700.

“How do I get admitted into the MS physics program at Miami?”

  • Applicants need a minimum GPA of 2.7 and an undergraduate degree in physics or a related field.
  • The General GRE and the Physics GRE are strongly recommended, but not required. 
  • All application materials must be sent to the Graduate School by February 1 for fall admission, although late applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. The application fee cannot be waived.
  • A brief research statement-of-intent indicating your preference for one or more of the department’s research areas is required with your application.
  • Go to Miami University’s Graduate School and click on “Apply Now.” 

Explore your options and contact me if you have any questions. Best wishes for a satisfying career in science!


Dr. Mahmud Khan
Assistant Professor and Graduate Director

MS Students After Miami

Recent MS Students MS Thesis Title Advisor After Miami
Lok Raj Pant The Radiative Lifetime Measurement on 61+g(v = 9, 10, 11, = 31) Excited States of Molecular Sodium Using Time Resolved High Resolution Double Resonance Spectroscopy Dr. Burçin Bayram PhD, Texas A&M University
Zibo Wang Quantum Optical Models of Photosynthetic Reaction Centers: A Quantum Heat Engine Perspective Dr. Imran Mirza PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnis Institute
Pawan Khatiwada An Introduction to Tensor Networks and Matrix Product States with Applications in Waveguide Quantum Electrodynamics Dr. Imran Mirza PhD, Stevens Institute of Technology
Alexander Staron Stochastic Resonances and Velocity Sorting in a Dissipative Optical Lattice Dr. Samir Bali University of Colorado at Boulder
Bibandhan Poudyal Single-Photon Routing in Multi-Level Chiral Waveguide Quantum Electrodynamics Ladders Dr. Imran Mirza PhD, University of Rochester
Dinesh Wagle High Resolution Pulsed Laser Spectroscopy to Measure Radiative Property of 61∑g+(35,23) State of Diatomic Sodium Molecule Dr. Burçin Bayram PhD, University of Delaware
Martin Heidelman Cellular Metabolic Monitoring at High Hydrostatic Pressure Using Phasor Analysis of UV-Excited Autofluorescence Dr. Paul Urayama PhD, University of Notre Dame
Ken DeRose Observation of Slow Light, Stored Light, and Dicke Narrowing in Warm Alkali Vapor Dr. Samir Bali PhD, Northwestern
Subhash Bhatt Superconducting Properties of Selected Intermetallic Compounds Dr. Mahmud Khan PhD, University of Delaware
Sara Zanfardino Sensitivity of Diffuse Correlation Spectroscopy to Flow Rates in Tissue-Stimulating Optical Phantoms Dr. Karthik Vishwanath MD Program, Ohio University
Anthony Young Investigation of Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging’s Sensitivity to Flow Dr. Karthik Vishwanath MD/PhD, Wright State University
Jijun (Judy) Chen Experimental Method for Measurement of Time-Resolved Reflectance in Scattering Media Dr. Karthik Vishwanath PhD, Purdue University
Benjamin Blankartz The Mond External Field Effect on Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies Dr. Steve Alexander Employed at First Solar, Columbus, OH
Jeffrey Brock An Experimental Study of Magnetic and Structural Phase Transitions and Assibilated Phenomena in Selected NI-MN Derivative Heusler Alloys Dr. Mahmud Khan PhD, University of California San Diego
Ethan Clements Characterization of 1-D and 3-D Optical Lattices Using Pump-Probe Spectroscopy and Fluorescence Imaging Dr. Samir Bali PhD, University of Colorado at Boulder
Millicent Gikunda An Improved Sample Loading Technique for Cellular Metabolic Response Monitoring Under Pressure Dr. Paul Urayama PhD, University of Arkansas
Matthew Walentosky On the Nature of Radial Dispersion Profiles for Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies in the Local Group According to MOND Dr. Steve Alexander Employed as a data scientist, B/Works
Phillip Arndt Probing the Excited Rovibrational States of Sodium Dime Dr. Burçin Bayram PhD, Temple University
Ramakanata Chapai An Experimental Study on the Structural and Magnetic Properties of Ni2+xMn1.4-xGa0.6 and Ni2-xMn1.4+xGa0.6 Heusler Type Alloys Dr. Mahmud Khan PhD, Louisiana State University
Matthew Gillette Design and Implementation of a Fast Imaging System for Cold Atom Experiments Dr. Samir Bali Employed at ColdQuanta, Madison, WI
Jeffrey Maltas The Spectral Phasor Approach as a Tool for Monitoring the Autofluorescence of Mitochondrial Metabolism and its Application to High Pressure Studies Dr. Paul Urayama PhD, University of Michigan

Notes From Our Alumni

Robert McCutcheon

“The Miami physics department is a friendly, supportive, and unique environment that provided an excellent physics education that was a great foundation for graduate school.”

Matt Walentosky

“I believe the graduate program at Miami really affords everyone the opportunity to get out of it what you put in to it. I was able to develop my problem solving skills and computer programming skills while doing really cool research in a subject I have great passion for! I am really grateful for the experience. Although my plans shifted during my time at Miami, I came out of the program with several awards, a few publications, a prestigious degree, and a fantastic job as a data scientist.“

Dyan Jones 

“I have no doubt that my experiences in the Miami University physics department were integral to my physics career. The opportunities for research and teaching shaped my choice to work in academia and heavily influenced my current research program. However, most important to me was the sense of compassion and collegiality in the department: I saw firsthand what it means to be a professor who truly cares about students and their success, and I strive to meet those standards every time I set foot in my classroom.”

Matt Gillette

“I would not be where I am today without the Miami University Physics M.S. program. It gave me the skills, knowledge and connections needed to find my dream job directly out of the program. The professors and staff are incredibly kind and helpful, and will go above and beyond to help you succeed.”

AJ Hachtel 

“The Physics MS program at Miami achieves the delicate balance of teaching and research. You work closely with your faculty research mentor, learning invaluable skills for a continued career in academia or industry. I had an increased sense of ownership of my research as my advisor was always willing to listen to my ideas and challenge me to push my research and understanding further. On the pedagogical side, working closely with a faculty member allows you to see the ins and outs of the teaching experience. Through my experience assisting Dr. Jennifer Blue in the Physics by Inquiry class, I truly developed  passion and understanding for an active-learning teaching model.”

Thomas Jenkins 

“I really enjoyed the time I spent as a student in Miami University's graduate physics program. The coursework, teaching, and research opportunities all helped me build a solid foundation in math and science. The staff was great, and the professors were always there to help me out when I needed it.”

Alison Huff

“Miami University has developed me in more ways than I could foresee. I was able to grow not only as a scientist through research, but as a future mentor through teaching. I feel as though I have become a more well-rounded graduate student, which will help me further pursue an academic career.”

Nick Geitner

“The Physics MS program at Miami did a fantastic job preparing me for a career as a scientist, both as a teacher and as a researcher. As an undergrad I never would have guessed I would have ended up in this area of research, but Miami provided me an excellent introduction to the world of nanoscience.”

Dave Fisher

“While at Miami, I was encouraged to pursue my physics interests, challenged with class work and research, and built lasting relationships with fellow grad students and faculty. As I continue my education, I look fondly at my time at Miami knowing I will be using ideas and resources from there for years to come.”

Siwei Cao

“Miami is like a second home for me. It was the first place I ever visited in US, and everyone was so nice and cool. I made lots of friends here, learned quite a bit of academic skills, and cherished many cheerful memories. I really appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given by Miami Physics.”