Master's Degree Specific | Ph.D Specific | Graduate Examinations | Financial Aid Guidelines | Housing Information

Program Requirements

Master's Degree

The Department of Physics grants the Master of Science Degree under two options: thesis option (plan A) or course work option (plan B). The thesis option requires course work in addition to a thesis defense. The requirement for a course work option is only course work. The course work Master’s is the Master’s degree that you receive en route to your Ph.D. You can find more information about the Master's program here.

In addition to the MS degree in physics, the Physics Department, in coordination with Electrical Engineering and Chemistry, offer an Master in Optics. You can find more information about the Optics Master's program  HERE or contact the Physics Department.

Ph.D. Degree

The requirements for a Ph.D. degree include course work, thesis credits and a thesis defense. You can find more information about the Ph.D. program here.

Graduate Examinations

General Requirements

written examination is given every year in the last half of August. The written Comprehensive Examination is a test of physics principles. The student is tested on their ability to comprehend and solve a carefully chosen set of problems. This serves both as the Master's Comprehensive Examination and as part of the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination.  The Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination also includes an Oral Examination and a Thesis Defense.  A defense of the thesis and related topics is required for the Plan A Master's and Ph.D. degrees.  You can find more information about the comprehensive exams here.

Financial Aid Guidelines

All first year graduate students admitted to advanced degree programs in the Physics Department are awarded financial aid. Financial aid is awarded through both tuition waivers and a monthly stipend. The tuition waivers cover all tuition costs but do not include fees paid to the university. To receive financial aid, a student must satisfy the requirements of the Graduate School as listed on their webpage, as well as requirements of the Physics Department. First year graduate students are supported through their first summer. 

Housing Information

A variety of housing is available. The University has residence hall rooms for single students, and apartments and houses are available for married students. Ample off-campus housing of all types is available. However, housing should be arranged as soon as you receive an offer of admission and/or accept the offer. Family and graduate housing information is available at their web site,