MA Degree Requirements

The requirements for the Master's degree can be satisfied in two ways. Requirements for the "No Master Project" option:

  • Passing the written part of the Comprehensive Exam at the Master level.
  • Passing of Graduate Courses approved by the Graduate Program Director with a grade of B or better. The number of courses should be such that the minimum number of 30 credits is satisfied. An approved Program usually includes two semester of the Graduate Seminar (PHY598 and PHY599).
Requirements for the "Master Project" option:
  • Completion of a Master Project.
  • Passing of satisfactory program of study approved by the Graduate Program Director. Normally such program includes two approved graduate courses and two semesters of the graduate seminar (PHY598 and PHY 599). The total number of credits with passing grades (which normally is B or better) including the Master Research credit should be at least 30.
The Master project is supervised by an advisor and has to be documented in the format of a scientific paper or a thesis. The Master project has to be defended before a committee of 3 faculty members, your advisor, an other faculty member inside your research area and a faculty member outside your research field. At least half of the committee (including the Chair) must be full-time faculty. The advisor cannot be the Chair of the committee. The committee should have at least one theorist and at least one experimentalist. Multiple authorship of a thesis is not allowed. There is no need to submit the Master thesis to the graduate school, but if it is submitted, it must be prepared in accordance with the guidelines presented in the university's "Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations."

No more than 6 credits can be transferred of comparable graduate courses taken at another university. Transfer eligibility must first be approved in writing by the professor teaching the comparable course at Stony Brook and then by the Graduate Program Director, who will authorize departmental approval. Such credit transfers should be requested in the student's first semester at Stony Brook.


Created 11/17/2009 by Jacobus Verbaarschot. Last Revised 03/03/2016.