Top of page
Skip to main content
Main content

M.S. Degree in Physics


Students are not admitted into the Graduate Program in Physics to pursue the M.S. degree. Students may be offered the M.S. degree, if they leave the Ph.D. program.

Standing and Residence

A minimum accumulated residence in the Graduate School of two semesters is required for the M.S. degree. Courses may not be applied toward the requirements unless they are on the 300 level or above.

Specific Course Requirements

In addition to the general course requirements, minimum specific course requirements for the M.S. degree are:

  1. Satisfactory completion of 18 hours of credit, of which 15 must be in course or seminar work, not including Directed Study (Physics 597R) or Research (Physics 599R).
  2. At least 11 of the hours in course or seminar credit must be on the 500 or 700 level.
  3. A grade of B- or better must be earned in at least 11 hours of course work taken.
  4. No course at the 100 or 200 level can be applied to the M.S. degree.

Students are required to take the following three core graduate courses:

Physics 503aClassical Mechanics I(3 hr)
Physics 506aQuantum Mechanics I(3 hr)
Physics 511aElectrodynamics I(3 hr)

It is assumed that the student will also complete introductory graduate courses in more specialized areas such as statistical physics or biophysics, depending on the master's thesis topic.

Thesis and Thesis Advisory Committee

The student must submit an acceptable thesis demonstrating an ability to use advanced methods of research. The Thesis Advisory Committee is composed of the thesis advisor, two additional physics faculty members, and one faculty member from another department. The Thesis Advisory Committee approves the topic for the candidate's research, approves both a written and oral report of the student's progress at least once a year, reads and approves the thesis before it is submitted to the office of the Graduate School, and acts for the department in recommending the candidate for the M.S. degree.