Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

PHYS 5101Analytical Mechanics I3
PHYS 5301
& PHYS 5302
Electromagnetic Theory
and Electromagnetic Theory
PHYS 5501
& PHYS 5502
Mathematical Physics I
and Mathematical Physics II
PHYS 5701
& PHYS 5702
Quantum Mechanics I
and Quantum Mechanics II
PHYS 8102Statistical Mechanics3
Additional Coursework 1,2,36
Total Credit Hours30

The balance of coursework is identified in consultation with the graduate advisor and subject to the approval of the Graduate Program Committee.


For the Coursework Track, no more than 3 credits may be taken in these independent study courses: PHYS 8004 Problems in Experimental Physics; PHYS 8005 Problems in Theoretical Physics; or PHYS 9998 Pre-Dissertation Research / Elevation to Candidacy.


For the Thesis Track, coursework including 3 credits of PHYS 9996 Master's Thesis Research and an additional 3 credits of PHYS 8004 Problems in Experimental Physics, PHYS 8005 Problems in Theoretical Physics, or PHYS 9996 Master's Thesis Research must be taken.

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Examination:
The M.S. comprehensive examination is required for students in the Coursework Track, but not for students in the Thesis Track. The exam, which tests the student's mastery of undergraduate and beginning graduate physics, consists of a three-part written exam and an oral exam. General subject areas covered by the examination include classical electromagnetic theory, classical mechanics, mathematical physics, modern physics, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics.

M.S. students in the Coursework Track are required to take the comprehensive examination by the end of their second year of full-time graduate study. The exam is offered twice a year. In the event of failure, the exam may be retaken once. If the student fails a second time, s/he is dropped from the graduate program.

A master’s thesis is required for students in the Thesis Track, but not for students in the Coursework Track. The thesis is based on the student’s research and approved in accordance with the policies of the Department of Physics and the Graduate School.