MS in Physics

Every recipient of the MS in Physics is expected to acquire:

  • A strong grasp of the core physics principles in classical mechanics, electrodynamics, statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics
  • Broad knowledge of contemporary physics development
  • Strong oral and written communication skills

Three tracks are available to MS students: the Thesis Option, the Qualifying Examination Option, and the Project Option. A minimum of 30 credit hours of formal graduate course work and thesis research is required for the degree. Students must maintain an overall GPA minimum of 3.0 (equivalent to a grade of "B") or higher for all courses leading to the degree.

Thesis Option

The thesis option emphasizes research experience. At least 18 credit hours of the student's complete program is to be devoted to formal graduate course work. The student should also complete up to 12 credit hours of informal credits, such as independent study, supervised teaching, or directed research (PHY 598, PHY 599, and PHY 600), to aid in the production of a final publication-ready thesis. Before receiving their degree, the student must pass a public oral defense of their thesis.

Qualifying Exam Option

The qualifying exam option is course-based. A minimum of 30 credit hours of formal graduate course work is required. The student must pass the Qualifying Exam at the MS level within 18 months of their initial registration.

Project Option

The project option is a balance of course work and research. Students must complete 24 hours of formal course work and 6 credit hours of PHY 600, terminating in a report approved by the student's research supervisor and one other graduate faculty member.

For further information, please consult the Graduate Student Handbook or contact Sambandamurthy Ganapathy, Director of Graduate Studies.