Tracks for the MA Program

An MA degree requires a minimum of 30 credits in Physics graduate courses. In most cases this program can be completed in three of four semesters, but in exceptional cases of very well prepared students, it is possible to complete this program in two semesters and one Summer. Below we give four examples of course sequences for an MA degree. The first two options prepare for admission to a PhD program, while the last two options prepare for employment outside academia. There is a great deal of flexibility, and depending on your interest, courses can be substituted by other physics graduate courses. All programs of study require approval of the Graduate program director.

Below are two options that prepare for admission to a PhD program. The first option focuses more on courses while the second option focuses more on Research. Doing more research has the advange that your advisor will be able to write a stronger letter of recommendation.


Preparing for admission to a Ph.D. program -- Option I

Semester 1:
PHY 501 Classical Mechanics (3 credits)
PHY 503 Methods of Mathematical Physics (3 credits)
PHY 510 Quantum Mechanics I (3 credits)
PHY 599 or PHY 598 Graduate Seminar (1 credit)
PHY 580 Special Research Project (2 credits)

Semester 2:
PHY 504 Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics I (3 credits)
PHY 511 Quantum Mechanics II (3 credits)
PHY 505 Electrodynamics (3 credits)
PHY 595 Master Thesis Research (3 credits)

Semester 3:
PHY 604 Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics II (3 credits)
PHY 540 Statistical Mechanics (3 credits)
PHY 595 Master Thesis Research (3 credits)

Semester 4:
PHY 610 Quantum Field Theory I (3 credits)
PHY 595 Master Thesis Research (3 credits)


Preparing for admission to a Ph.D. program with more focus on research -- Option II

Semester 1:
PHY 503 Methods of Mathematical Physics (3 credits)
PHY 510 Quantum Mechanics I (3 credits)
PHY 599 or PHY 598 Graduate Seminar (1 credit)
PHY 580 Special Research Project (5 credits)

Semester 2:
PHY 504 Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics I (3 credits)
PHY 511 Quantum Mechanics II (3 credits)
PHY 595 Master Thesis Research (6 credits)

Semester 3:
PHY 604 Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics II (3 credits)
PHY 501 Clasical Mechanics (3 credits)
PHY 595 Master Thesis Research (3 credits)

Semester 4:
PHY 610 Electrodynamics (3 credits)
PHY 595 Master Thesis Research (3 credits)

Below you find two options that prepare you for employment outside academia.

Experimental option preparing for employment outside academia

Semester 1:
PHY 514 Current Research Instruments (3 credits)
PHY 562 Lasers and Modern Optics (3 credits)
PHY 515 Methods of Experimental Research (3 credits)
PHY 599 or PHY 598 Graduate Seminar (1 credit)
PHY 582 Optics Rotation (2 credits)

Semester 2:
PHY 504 Computational Methods (3 credits)
PHY 518 Applications of Synchrotron Radiation (3 credits)
PHY 565 Quantum Electronics I (3 credits)
PHY 599 PHY 598 Graduate Seminar (1 credit)
PHY 582 Optics Rotation (2 credits)
Semester 3:
PHY 565 Quantum Electronics II (3 credits)
PHY 595 Master Thesis Research (6 credits)
Semester 4:
PHY 595 Master Thesis Research (9 credits)



Computational option preparing for employment outside academia

Semester 1:
PHY 503 Mathematical Physics (3 credits)
PHY 558 Physical Biology (3 credits)
PHY 599 or PHY 598 Graduate Seminar (1 credit)
PHY 580 Special Research Project involving computation (5 credits)

Semester 2:
PHY 504 Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics I (3 credits)
PHY 559 Biological Dynamics and Networks (3 credits)
PHY 546 Python (1 credits)
PHY 599 or PHY 598 Graduate Seminar (1 credit)
PHY 580 Special Research Project involving computation (4 credits)

Semester 3:
PHY 604 Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics II (3 credits)
PHY 595 Master Thesis Research involving computation (6 credits)
Semester 4:
PHY 595 Master Thesis Research involving computation (9 credits)


Created 11/17/2009 by Jacobus Verbaarschot. Last Revised 02/09/2017.