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Degree Requirements: M.S. in Physics

M.S. in Physics

To receive the M.S. in Physics, a student must:

1. Pass the Qualifying examination (see Sec. V) on undergraduate Physics at a M.S. level (a grade of B or above), before the end of the student's first semester of the second year. A maximum of three tries is allowed on the exam.

2. Earn 30 credits with a grade point average of at least 3.0 and satisfy the other graduate school requirements concerning grades. The 30 credits are subject to the following requirements:

- A minimum of 16 credits must be at the graduate level (800- and 900-level courses).
- Up to 14 credits of undergraduate senior level courses may be counted in the total of 30 credits needed for the M.S., provided these courses have not been used previously in the credit total toward another degree. Senior level courses include all of the Physics and Astronomy courses with course numbers in the 400-499 interval.
- In addition to Physics and Astronomy courses, with specific approval by the Director of Graduate Studies or his/her designated representative, mathematics courses at the 400- level and above, some Engineering, Biophysics and Geology courses may be included in the 30-credit total.
- A maximum of 9 semester credits may be transferred from other accredited graduate schools.

3. If the student chooses Plan A (with thesis), 4 to 10 credits of thesis research, Physics 899 are to be included in the total of 30 credits. Students choosing Plan A must form a Guidance Committee of three regular faculty members, including the student's Master's thesis advisor. This committee will meet with the student yearly and will act as examiners of the student's thesis and oral defense (see form in Appendix E).

4. In Plan B (without thesis) PHY 899 does not count towards the 30 credit requirement. S/he will still need to have accumulated 30 credits with 16 of the credits at the 800-900 course level.

5. Research credits (PHY800) may also contribute toward the degree. 3 credits per semester up to a total of 6 credits can be counted towards the 30 credits necessary for the M.S. degree in physics.

6. The Department of Physics and Astronomy has no foreign language requirement.

7. Students in the Virtual University VUBeam M.S. program have to satisfy the same requirements as other M.S. students. Usually the bulk of the credit requirements are satisfied via the VUBeam on-line courses PHY 861 and PHY961 through PHY964. The Qualifying Examination can be administered by a mutually agreeable local proctor upon prior arrangements with the Director of Graduate Studies.