Jun 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Physics, M.S.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: Physics 


The M.S. in Physics provides foundational knowledge in fundamental and applied physics. The unique feature of the degree is the development of high level critical thinking skills, which is instrumental for high profile careers. The degree will allow students to pursue careers in research and teaching in physics and related disciplines. Many students earning M.S. degree in Physics continue to Ph.D. studies, while others pursue successful careers in industry and teaching. Through diverse selection of courses and/or research areas students have unique opportunity to acquire strong foundation in such high in demand areas as machine learning, quantum foundations and information, spintronics, computational science, biophysics, and others. These, along with the high structure thinking skills inherent to the discipline, naturally allow M.S. in Physics degree holders to significantly advance their careers. Many of our M.S. students choose to pursue it for that reason. Moreover, physics M.S. degree in physics is also a great option for those who hold degrees in engineering, chemistry, math, and other STEM fields and desire to pursue interdisciplinary research.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • three letters of recommendation
  • a statement of purpose
  • GRE General Test scores required, GRE Physics Subject Test scores recommended.

Curriculum Requirements

Students admitted to the graduate major in Physics, will consult with the Physics Director of Graduate Studies, who will be the student’s course advisor and monitor the student’s progress. After a decision has been made concerning the student’s academic goals, the duties of graduate advising will be assumed by the major professor and the supervisory committee appointed by the department chairperson. In keeping with the student’s academic goals, the supervisory committee will determine the appropriate course of study and examinations required for graduation for both the thesis and non-thesis options.

Total Minimum Hours: 30 credit hours

  • Core – 9 Credit Hours
  • Electives - 12 Credit Hours minimum
  • Thesis / Non-thesis – 9 Credit Hours minimum    

Core Requirements (9 Credit Hours)

Electives (12 Credit Hours)

Students complete at least twelve hours, of which at least two courses (6 hours) must be within physics.  
Contact the department for a current list of approved electives.

Thesis/Non-Thesis (9 Credit Hours)

Students select either the thesis or non-thesis option:

Non-Thesis Option

Students in the non-thesis option take an additional 9 hours of graduate electives.  The remaining nine credit hours may be earned through a combination of approved graduate-level electives, approved graduate seminars, or directed research. 

Thesis Option

Comprehensive Exam

The Thesis defense is used in lieu of the comprehensive exam.  Non-thesis students complete a written exam.