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Master of Science in Physics - Option in Applied Physics

The Option in Applied Physics provides a master's degree program that emphasizes concepts and techniques particularly appropriate for applied physics. It is intended for students having a background in physics, engineering, or a related field.


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

2. A bachelor's degree with a major in engineering with upper division physics substantially equivalent to PHYS 310, PHYS 340A,B, and PHYS 450, as determined by the graduate advisor, or

3. A bachelor's degree with upper division physics and mathematics courses essentially equivalent to PHYS 310, PHYS 340B, PHYS 450; and MATH 370A,B; as determined by the graduate advisor.
Students deficient in undergraduate preparation must take courses to remove deficiencies as determined by the graduate advisor.


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.
  • PHYS 695 Colloquium (1)
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Take two courses of the following (one must be 545 or 546):

  • 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 576 Modern Optics with Laboratory (3)
    Prerequisite: PHYS 340A.
  • PHYS 580 Computer Interfacing in Experimental Physics (3)
    Prerequisite: PHYS 380 or consent of instructor.

Completion of the following:

Take 2 additional units of graduate-level PHYS course;

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. An oral presentation of the thesis research is also required.

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 and Associate Dean in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

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