All candidates for the M.S. degree must complete 32 points of credit, at least 24 in residence at the Graduate School and at least 20 in the Department of Physics, and achieve a grade point average (GPA) of B (3.0) or better. They are further required to pass at least five of the following six courses: Statistical Mechanics, PHYS-GA 2002, Electromagnetism, PHYS-GA 2005, Computational Physics, PHYS-GA 2000, Classical and Quantum Mechanics I, PHYS-GA 2011, Classical and Quantum Mechanics II, PHYS-GA 2012, Experimental Physics, PHYS-GA 2075. M.S. candidates are permitted to take at most two courses outside the department, with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies. These courses are the same as the ones taken by PhD students so the same level of prerequisite knowledge is expected.
In addition to the above course requirements, M.S. candidates complete their degree requirements via one of three options.
Option A: Report. The report is essentially a comprehensive review article based on the literature in a specialized field of physics, prepared under the supervision of a faculty adviser. In addition to submitting the report, students choosing this option must receive credit for nine regular courses (one-semester, 4-point courses, not including reading and research).
Option B: Thesis. The thesis is based on physics research (experimental or theoretical) supervised by a faculty adviser, at a level of originality and comprehensiveness less than that of Ph.D. research. In addition to the standard course requirements, the student is expected to enroll in one semester (4 points) of a research course, , Experimental Physics Research, PHYS-GA-2091, or Research Reading, PHYS-GA-2095.
Option C: Examination. In addition to receiving credit for eight regular courses (one-semester, 4-point courses, not including reading and research), a student choosing this option must pass the core courses with an average grade of B or better. For each course, the student has the option of (1) enrolling in the course; (2) taking the midterm and final examination of the course if the student is not enrolled; or (3) taking the relevant preliminary examination given just before the start of the fall or spring terms.