Graduate Program

The Department of Physics offers a research-intensive, two-year program leading to the Master of Science degree. During the two years in the program, students are required to demonstrate proficiency in the core areas (Electromagnetism, Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Classical Mechanics), and be involved in significant, potentially publication-worthy research activity, which is expected to culminate in a thesis. Many students admitted to our program are awarded competitive stipends and serve as teaching assistants.

The low student-to-faculty ratio and the department's dedication to excellence in teaching and research assure that graduate students are an integral part of the department and work closely with faculty in achieving their educational goals. Students interested in doing a PhD are able to use our program as a gateway to top-quality PhD programs in physics and engineering. Others gain entry into industry, or take up positions in national labs, or instructor positions in universities and high schools.

To request information about the Physics Master's Degree Program, complete the Graduate School Request for Information at the Graduate School website.

Master of Science (M.S.)Recent MS grads

Proficiency is expected in the areas of quantum physics, classical mechanics, electromagnetic theory, statistical physics, and mathematical techniques used in physics. Evidence of proficiency means successful completion of courses at the 500- or 600-level or equivalent. Graduate course work is selected in consultation with the thesis director (thesis option) and graduate program director and approved in writing by the graduate program director. The main source for graduate student information is provided in the departmental Graduate Student Handbook, which is shared with current graduate students and faculty via the Google Drive. The departmental Graduate Director for Physics, Dr. Mahmud Khan, may also be consulted for additional information.

Thesis option

A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate course work, research, and thesis credit is required. You must complete at least two 600-level courses in physics other than PHY 610, and a minimum of six hours of PHY 700. Before registering for PHY 700, you must write a thesis proposal and defend it before your thesis committee. Subsequent completion and defense of thesis is required.

Non-thesis option

A minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate credit is required. Any credits earned in PHY 700 may not be counted toward the minimum of 36 hours. Completion of at least four 600-level courses in physics other than PHY 610 is required. The student must also pass a comprehensive examination for the non-thesis option.

Notes from our alumni