Academic Catalog

Physics (M.S.)

For some students, the master’s degree will be used as part of a continuing Ph.D. program; for others, it will be a terminal degree leading to employment in government laboratories, industrial programs, hospitals, teaching positions, and other occupations. The Master of Science with a Major in Physics is offered under Plan A or Plan C.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. In addition, applicants must satisfy the following criteria.

Prerequisite Preparation

Prerequisite preparation should include:

A minimum of general college physics with laboratory equivalent to:
University Physics for Scientists I
University Physics for Scientists II
Introductory Modern Physics
Fifteen credits in intermediate physics courses, for example, those equivalent to the following:
Methods of Theoretical Physics I
Classical Mechanics I
Classical Mechanics II
Optics
Quantum Physics I
Quantum Physics II
Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
Electromagnetic Fields I
Electromagnetic Fields II
Modern Physics Laboratory
Mathematics eqivalent to mathematics prerequisites reguired in those physics courses
A minimum of general college chemistry with laboratory equivalent to:
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory

The Graduate Record Examination, both the General section and the Physics subject test, is strongly recommended as a counseling aid in preparing the student’s plan of study.

Program Requirements

The Master of Science degree in Physics is offered in three concentrations and under Plans A (Thesis), B (Essay) and C (Courses only). In all cases, 32 total credits are required to graduate. Specific requirements include the following:

Concentration 1: Advanced Physics

The following physics courses or their equivalents must be completed or must have been completed previously at the undergraduate level. If these courses have not been taken previously and are taken at the graduate level, they can be counted towards the required credits for the degree.
Quantum Physics I
Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
Electromagnetic Fields I
Computational Physics
Applied Computational Methods
Mathematics equivalent to mathematics prerequisites required for the course work listed above.
PHY 7850Data Analysis Techniques3
PHY 6995Professional Development Seminar in Physics2
At least six credits of coursework in physics or astronomy at the 7000 level or above (exclusive of PHY 7990, PHY 7996,PHY 7999, PHY 8991, PHY 8995).
Other graduate courses can be taken at the 5000 level or above and can include up to 4 credits of PHY 7990, PHY 7999, PHY 8991, or PHY 8995. Courses in departments other than physics and astronomy can be taken with permission of the graduate director.
Plan A (plan-specific requirements)
Master's Thesis Research and Direction (8 credits required)
A departmental final oral examination is required of all candidates.
Plan B (plan-specific requirements)
Three additional credits in physics at the 7000 level and above.
Master's Essay Direction (3 credits required)
A departmental final oral examination is required of all candidates.
Plan C (plan-specific requirements)
Three additional credits in physics at the 7000 level and above.

Concentration 2: Biomedical Physics

The following physics courses or their equivalents must be completed or must have been completed previously at the undergraduate level.If these courses have not been taken previously and are taken at the graduate level, they can be counted towards the required credits for the degree.
Biological Physics
Physics in Medicine
Applied Computational Methods
Computational Physics
Mathematics equivalent to mathematics prerequisites required for the course work listed above.
PHY 7850Data Analysis Techniques3
PHY 6995Professional Development Seminar in Physics2
PHY 7090Survey of Biophysics (if students have taken PHY 6090 as an undergraduate student, another 7000 level course in physics and astronomy, such as PHY 7560)3
PSL 7215Nanobioscience3
At least three nine credits of graduate coursework in physics and astronomy at the 7000 level or above (exclusive of PHY 7990, PHY 7996, PHY 7999, PHY 8995, PHY 8991, PHY 8999 and equivalent courses taken as an undergraduate student).
Other graduate courses can be taken at the 5000 level or above and can include up to 4 credits of PHY 7990, PHY 7999, PHY 8991, PHY 8995. Courses in departments other than physics and astronomy can be taken with permission of the graduate director.
Plan A (plan-specific requirements)
Master's Thesis Research and Direction (8 credits required)
A departmental final oral examination is required of all candidates.
Plan B (plan-specific requirements)
Master's Essay Direction (3 credits required)
A departmental final oral examination is required of all candidates.

Concentration 3: Applied Physics

The following physics courses or their equivalents must be completed or must have been completed previously at the undergraduate level. If these courses have not been taken previously and are taken at the graduate level, they can be counted towards the required credits for the degree.
Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
Electromagnetic Fields I
Computational Physics
Applied Computational Methods
Mathematics equivalent to mathematics prerequisites required for the course work listed above.
PHY 7850Data Analysis Techniques3
PHY 6995Professional Development Seminar in Physics2
PHY 6450Introduction to Material and Device Characterizations4
PHY 7050Survey of Condensed Matter Physics3
At least three credits of coursework in physics or astronomy at the 7000 level or above (exclusive of PHY 7990, PHY 7996,PHY 7999, PHY 8991, PHY 8995).
Other graduate courses can be taken at the 5000 level or above and can include up to 4 credits of PHY 7990, PHY 7999, PHY 8991, PHY 8995. Courses in departments other than physics and astronomy can be taken with permission of the graduate director.
Plan A (plan-specific requirements)
Master's Thesis Research and Direction (8 credits required)
A departmental final oral examination is required of all candidates.
Plan B (plan-specific requirements)
Master's Essay Direction (3 credits required)
A departmental final oral examination is required of all candidates.
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