Graduate Education

The Physics Graduate Program

The mission of physics graduate program is to provide students with quality graduate instruction and research experience suitable in many physics related careers. Required coursework in physics along with elective courses selected from other disciplines such as mathematics, computer science, chemistry, and engineering support a number of career options in industry, education, and applied research. Graduates with this degree may also pursue a PhD degree in physics. Areas of research concentration include astrophysics, condensed matter, materials science, nuclear and elementary particle physics, and theoretical physics.

You can find a link to the PhD Physics program overview here

Available Options for Degrees

A (thesis) and B (non-thesis). Option A requires a thesis based on research, while Option B substitutes additional coursework and a research paper/project for the thesis requirement. The nonthesis options are deemed appropriate for students who do not require PhD preparation in physics in order to be successful in their careers. Examples of career tracks not requiring study in physics beyond the master’s level include medical physics, science education at the K-12 and “community college” level, as well as various industrial applications. While deemed less appropriate for students advancing to doctoral study in physics, the non-thesis options are a viable and even preferred course of study for some students. 

Students should expect that completion of an MS degree will take two academic years of full-time study.

You can find a link to the MS Physics program overview here

For more information please contact Dr. Vladimir Sobolev at (605) 394-1225 or email him at