Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Graduate Study
Physics - Master of Science

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.


For admission to the master's degree program in physics on regular status, the student must have:

  1. Completed physics and mathematics courses equivalent to those that are required for an undergraduate major in physics.
  2. A satisfactory grade–point average, normally at least 3.00, in the courses referenced in item 1. above.

Students who do not meet the requirements for admission to the program on regular status may be admitted on a provisional basis to remove deficiencies.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Physics

The student must complete a total of 30 credits for the degree under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis).

A grade of at least 3.0 (B) on the qualifying examination based on first–year graduate–level physics courses in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, and statistical mechanics is required.  This examination is offered in the fall and spring semesters and must be taken the first time that it is offered after the student has completed his or her first year of graduate study. Detailed regulations and sample examinations are available from the departmental office.

Concentration in Beam Physics. Students interested in pursuing a concentration in beam physics may do so through a partially or entirely online option. The regular requirements for the master’s degree in physics apply. Credits for the concentration may be earned through courses and research including PHY 861, PHY 961, PHY 962, PHY 963, and PHY 964. The student’s program of study must be approved by the student’s guidance committee. Students may transfer up to 9 credits in relevant course topics approved on a case-by-case basis. Up to 10 credits of master’s thesis research (PHY 899) may be earned under supervision of MSU faculty or through a suitable external mentor at a university or national laboratory near the student’s location as determined on a case-by-case basis.