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Physics, Master of Science

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.

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Program Overview

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 Ph.D. are able to use our program as a gateway to top-quality Ph.D. 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.

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 coursework 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. 

Schedule of Graduate Courses

Graduate credit is given for courses offered at the 500- and 600-level. Courses at the 500-level are designed for students requiring advanced undergraduate material that they have not covered, prior to entering 600-level course work. For all official information and course descriptions, please consult the Miami General Bulletin.

PHY 521 - Molecular and Cellular Biophysics - Spring, even years
PHY 527 - Nano-Scale Science & Technology - Fall, irregular
PHY 530 - Topics in Physics - Irregular, only offer if we have the personnel
PHY 537 - Thermodynamics & Statistical Physics - Fall
PHY 541 - Optics and Laser Physics - Spring
PHY 551 - Classical Mechanics - Fall
PHY 561 - Electromagnetic Theory - Spring
PHY 567 - Seismology, Irregular
PHY 571 - Advanced Electronics - Irregular
PHY 581 - Gravitation and Space Time - Spring, odd years
PHY 583 - Mathematical Methods in Physics - Fall
PHY 586 - Advanced Computational Physics - Fall
PHY 591 - Intro to Quantum Mechanics - Spring
PHY 610 - Research - Fall, Spring, & Summer
PHY 620 - Special Topics - Fall
PHY 623 - Solid State Physics - Spring, irregular
PHY 642 - Adv. Kinetic Theory & Statistical Mechanics - Spring, odd years
PHY 651 - Quantum and Nonlinear Optics - Spring, irregular, even years
PHY 671 - Electromagnetism - Fall, odd years
PHY 691 - Modern Quantum Physics - Fall, even years
PHY 692 - Modern Quantum Physics II - Spring, irregular, even years
PHY 700 - Research for the Master's Thesis - Fall, Spring, Summer

NOTE: Occasionally, some courses may be offered in the alternate semester of the academic year. Check with your advisor to plan your schedule.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Communicate clearly;
  2. Use appropriate mathematical techniques and physics concepts to obtain quantitative solutions to problems. The students should be able to solve physics problems in the following core areas: classical mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics & thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics;
  3. Demonstrate critical thinking by conducting original scientific investigations and producing a thesis based on this research.

Thesis option

A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate coursework, 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 the 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.

Contact and additional information: Dr. Mahmud Khan,, Graduate Director for Physics

Master's Degree Research

Letter from Physics Graduate Direct

Dear Student,

Are you wondering, “How do I get into the best Ph.D. 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 Feb. 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

M.S. Students After Miami

M.S. Students After Graduation
Recent M.S. Students M.S. 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 Ph.D., Texas A&M University
Zibo Wang Quantum Optical Models of Photosynthetic Reaction Centers: A Quantum Heat Engine Perspective Dr. Imran Mirza Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnis Institute
Pawan Khatiwada An Introduction to Tensor Networks and Matrix Product States with Applications in Waveguide Quantum Electrodynamics Dr. Imran Mirza Ph.D., 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 Ph.D., 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 Ph.D., University of Delaware
Martin Heidelman Cellular Metabolic Monitoring at High Hydrostatic Pressure Using Phasor Analysis of UV-Excited Autofluorescence Dr. Paul Urayama Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Ken DeRose Observation of Slow Light, Stored Light, and Dicke Narrowing in Warm Alkali Vapor Dr. Samir Bali Ph.D., Northwestern
Subhash Bhatt Superconducting Properties of Selected Intermetallic Compounds Dr. Mahmud Khan Ph.D., University of Delaware
Sara Zanfardino Sensitivity of Diffuse Correlation Spectroscopy to Flow Rates in Tissue-Stimulating Optical Phantoms Dr. Karthik Vishwanath M.D. Program, Ohio University
Anthony Young Investigation of Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging’s Sensitivity to Flow Dr. Karthik Vishwanath M.D./Ph.D., Wright State University
Jijun (Judy) Chen Experimental Method for Measurement of Time-Resolved Reflectance in Scattering Media Dr. Karthik Vishwanath Ph.D., 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 Ph.D., 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 Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder
Millicent Gikunda An Improved Sample Loading Technique for Cellular Metabolic Response Monitoring Under Pressure Dr. Paul Urayama Ph.D., 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 Ph.D., 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 Ph.D., 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 Ph.D., University of Michigan

Department of Physics

217 Kreger Hall
500 E. Spring St.
Oxford, OH 45056