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Master of Science in Physics

This is a comprehensive physics master's degree with options in General Physics or Computational Physics.

Prerequisites

1. A bachelor's degree with a major in physics; or

2. A bachelor's degree with at least 24 units of upper division physics. Students deficient in undergraduate preparation must take courses to remove these deficiencies without credit toward the degree at the discretion of graduate advisor.

Requirements

Take all of the following:

  • PHYS 510 Graduate Mechanics (3)
    Prerequisite: PHYS 310.
  • PHYS 522 Statistical Physics (3)
    Prerequisites: PHYS 310, PHYS 320, PHYS 350.
  • PHYS 540A Graduate Electrodynamics I (3)
    Prerequisite: PHYS 340B.
  • PHYS 550A Quantum Mechanics I (3)
    Prerequisite: PHYS 450.
  • PHYS 560A Mathematical Methods of Physics (3)
    Prerequisites: MATH 370A,B or equivalent.

Take one of the following:

  • PHYS 595 Colloquium (1)
    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
  • PHYS 695 Colloquium (1)
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Take one of the following:

  • PHYS 545 Experimental Methods in Physics I (3)
    Prerequisites: PHYS 254; PHYS 450 or consent of instructor.
  • PHYS 546 Experimental Methods in Physics II (3)
    Prerequisites: PHYS 254; PHYS 450 or consent of instructor.
  • PHYS 575 Modern Optics (3)
    Prerequisite: PHYS 340A or consent of instructor.
  • PHYS 580 Computer Interfacing in Experimental Physics (3)
    Prerequisite: PHYS 380 or consent of instructor.

In addition, students may opt for one of two plans:

General Physics Plan

Take the following course:

  • PHYS 550B Quantum Mechanics II (3)
    Prerequisite: PHYS 550A.

Take one of the following two choices after consultation with the graduate advisor:

1. Completion of at least 2 additional units of graduate-level PHYS courses, 6 units of PHYS 698, a written thesis approved by the student's thesis committee consisting of a thesis chair (a Physics/Astronomy faculty member) and at least two more members, one of which must be a member of the Department, and an oral presentation of the thesis research. Note: Students must be advanced to candidacy before enrolling in PHYS 698.

2. With the permission of the Graduate committee, an additional 8 units of 500-level PHYS courses, and satisfactorily complete a comprehensive examination.

Computational Physics Plan

Take the following courses:

  • PHYS 550B Quantum Mechanics II (3)
    Prerequisite: PHYS 550A.
  • PHYS 562 Computational Methods in Theoretical Physics (3)
    Prerequisite: PHYS 450, PHYS 462.

Take 6 units of the following:

  • PHYS 698 Thesis (6)
    Prerequisite: Advancement to candidacy for the M.S. in Physics.

A written thesis approved by the student's thesis committee consisting of a thesis chair (a Physics/Astronomy faculty member) and at least two more members, one of which must be a member of the Department, and an oral presentation of the thesis research.

Note: Students must be advanced to candidacy before enrolling in PHYS 698.

Advancement to Candidacy

1. Students must fulfill the University requirements for advancement to candidacy.

2. A student must have a "B" average or better in six units of physics applicable toward the master's degree, of which at least three units are at the graduate level.

3. Recognizing that effective organization and verbal communication of physics are a necessary part of a successful graduate program, the Department of Physics and Astronomy normally requires that a graduate student serve at least one semester as a teaching associate or a graduate assistant as part of the M.S. program. Exceptions may be granted by the Graduate Advisor.

4. Approval of the degree program by the graduate advisor, the Department Chair, Associate Dean in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics or designee.


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