MS Degree Requirements
To maintain qualification for study toward a master’s degree, the student must, by no later than the end of the second semester of study, select a general research interest topic and find a research advisor. This requirement applies to both thesis and non-thesis options.

Out of the total 30 credit hours for the master’s degree, the specific physics requirements for graduation are as follows: at least 18 credits of coursework, including the required course(s) from the PH661, PH663 and PH669 sequence, as described below; at least 6 thesis research credits in physics, PH699; and at least 2 credits of seminar, including 1 credit of PH683 or PH684 (Graduate Seminar). A minimum of 19 credit hours out of the total 30 must be taken in physics (coursework, seminars and thesis credits).

Thesis option: Students are required to take, and obtain a grade of at least B in, at least one of the following courses: PH661, PH663 or PH669.

Non-thesis option: Students are required to take all three PH661, PH663 and PH669 courses and obtain a grade of at least B in each of them. The student’s advisor may authorize, with the approval of the department chair, replacement of at most one of these courses with another advanced physics or other course appropriate for the student’s program (the B minimal grade requirement still applies).

Non-thesis option students who do not take and pass the comprehensive examination (which is usually taken as part of the PhD track) must have in their research (PH699) work a professionally oriented special project, the completion of which (consult University regulations) is certified by their academic advisor in a notice to the department chair that defines the project’s topic.

Exceptions to some physics requirements can be granted by the Physics Graduate Committee, with the approval of the department chair.