MA in Physics

Students admitted to the PhD program may opt for a master’s degree en route to the PhD if they satisfy the appropriate requirements, but initially students may not apply for a master’s degree alone. A student who achieves a pass in the written comprehensive exam and completes the MA general requirements may apply for the master’s degree.

Course Requirements

Eight courses (32 credits) are required, with grades of B– or higher. Course requirements are as follows:

  • Five must be lecture courses numbered between 500 and 850, including:
    • CAS PY 501 Mathematical Physics
    • CAS PY 511 Quantum Mechanics I
    • CAS PY 512 Quantum Mechanics II
    • CAS PY 521 Electromagnetic Theory I
    • CAS PY 541 Statistical Mechanics I
  • CAS PY 581 Advanced Laboratory (or an approved waiver of this course)
  • GRS PY 961 Scholarly Methods in Physics I (must be taken in first year)

Up to three non-lecture courses (numbered above 850) may be counted toward the course requirements, but with no more than one directed study course and one seminar course.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.

Written Comprehensive Examination

A full description of the written comprehensive examination appears in the degree requirements for graduate study page of the PhD program.

A student must attempt the exam by September of the second year. A passing grade qualifies a student for the MA; however, a high pass is needed to qualify for the PhD.