Master of Science in Physics

Major: PHYS
Degree Awarded: MS
Unit: GA
Program Webpage: http://www.physics.louisville.edu/

Program Information

Mission Statement

The Master of Science degree in Physics will prepare students for Ph.D. level graduate work in Physics or a related field, or for a science-related career.

General Information

The MS is a two-year degree program available to qualified individuals possessing a bachelor’s degree in Physics from an accredited college or university. Students with a bachelor’s degree in other related subjects, e.g. Mathematics, Chemistry or Engineering, will also be considered.

Qualified students will be considered for Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs). As part of the educational experience, GTAs perform certain undergraduate teaching responsibilities in exchange for a stipend and full tuition remission.

The MS can be earned via a thesis or non-thesis option. The thesis option requires at least six (6) credit hours of research leading to submission of the thesis. Non-thesis students are also encouraged to become involved in research. The details for each option are described below.

Program Admission

Departmental requirements for admission are as follows:

  • A baccalaureate degree with at least 24 credit hours in physics, or the equivalent.
  • A minimum quality-point standing of 3.0 (base 4.0) in physics courses.
  • Mathematics course work through differential equations. (MATH 405 or equivalent).
  • Submission of the Graduate Record Examination scores.

For general information concerning admission to the graduate programs at the University of Louisville consult the application directions at http://louisville.edu/graduate/apply.

Program admission procedure:

Admission into the Physics MS program is competitive. The application procedure is as follows:

  • Submit a completed graduate application to the University of Louisville School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions together with the $60.00 application fee. Applications may be submitted on-line at http://louisville.edu/graduate/apply. Admissions are most commonly accepted to begin their program of studies in the Fall semester (which starts in late August). However, programs beginning in the Spring semester (which begins in early January) can be arranged. There is no formal application deadline, but to ensure full consideration for Fall entry applications should be received no later than February 1.
  • Official transcripts from each university or college attended must be submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions.
  • Take the general section of the Graduate Record Examination and arrange for the official score to be sent to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions.
  • Arrange for at least two letters of recommendation to be sent to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions. These letters should be written by persons familiar with the applicant’s academic work. Please use the recommendation form found at http://louisville.edu/graduate/apply.
  • All applicants, whose native language is not English, are required to achieve a TOEFL score greater than 213 on the computer-based test, greater than 79 on the internet-based test or greater than 550 on the paper-based test.  Students holding a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in the United States are exempt from this requirement.

In individual cases, the conditional admission of a student who does not satisfactorily meet the above requirements may be recommended by the department to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. If admission is granted, that student will be subject to those conditions specified by the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the College of Arts and Sciences or the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies as being necessary to remedy the conditional admission.

BS/MS Five-Year Accelerated Program

The Department of Physics and Astronomy, in the College of Arts and Sciences, offers a five-year accelerated program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Physics.

Requirements for admission:

  • Applicant will apply for admission to the five-year accelerated program in the first semester of the senior year.
  • Applicant will have completed at least 21 credit hours in Physics before applying to the program.
  • Applicant will have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA in Physics courses and a 3.35 GPA overall.

Once accepted, the student must meet the following requirements:

  • Submit a GRE General test score consistent with School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies guidelines.
  • Take at least nine (9) credit hours in 500-level physics courses for graduate credit. Two of the courses must be PHYS 542 and PHYS 556. Preferably these courses will be taken during the same semester in the student’s senior year.
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Curriculum

General requirements for the M.S. degree are set forth in the General Information section of the graduate catalog. Specific requirements for the M.S. degree in physics are as follows:

Thesis option: (30 credit hours)

  1. Required courses in physics (12 credit hours):
    • Theoretical Mechanics PHYS 605 (three (3) credit hours)
    • Electromagnetic Theory PHYS 611 (three (3) credit hours)
    • Quantum Mechanics I & II PHYS 621-622 (six (6) credit hours)
  2. Physics electives (six (6) to nine (9) credit hours): courses numbered 500 and above. Courses at 500 level or above which are required for the BA/BS degree will not normally satisfy this requirement.
  3. Courses in one minor field (three (3) to nine (9) credit hours): Mathematics is the usual minor, but another field may be chosen with the approval of the department.
  4. Graduate Research and Thesis PHYS 699 (six (6) credit hours).
  5. At least 21 credit hours at the 600 level or above.

Non-thesis option: (33 credit hours)

  1. Required courses in physics (12 credit hours):
    • Theoretical Mechanics PHYS 605 (three (3) credit hours)
    • Electromagnetic Theory PHYS 611 (three (3) credit hours)
    • Quantum Mechanics I & II PHYS 621-622 (six (6) credit hours)
  2. Physics electives (12 credit hours): courses numbered 500 and above. Courses at 500 level or above which are required for the BA/BS degree will not normally satisfy this requirement.
  3. Courses in one minor field (three (3) to nine (9) credit hours): Mathematics is the usual minor, but another field may be chosen with the approval of the department.
  4. Graduate Research PHYS 699 (three (3) credit hours).
  5. At least 17 credit hours at the 600 level or above.

BS/MS accelerated program:

The non-physics undergraduate requirements of this degree are identical to the standard BS in physics.

Undergraduate physics requirements are as follows:

Course

Description

Credit hours

PHYS 298 or 298HIntroductory Mechanics, Heat and Sound - S4
PHYS 299 or 299HIntroductory Electricity, Magnetism and Light - S4
PHYS 295 or 295HIntroductory Laboratory I - SL1
PHYS 296 or 296HIntroductory Laboratory II1
PHYS 300Introductory Modern Physics3
PHYS 301Introductory Modern Physics Laboratory3
PHYS 390Introductory Computational Physics3
PHYS 450Introductory Mathematical Physics3
PHYS 460Mechanics3
PHYS 541Electromagnetic Fields3
PHYS 555Elementary Quantum Mechanics3
PHYS 498
Research
3
Total Credit Hours
34

Graduate requirements for the five-year BS/MS program are identical to the standard MS program (thesis and non-thesis option) except that the physics electives must include PHYS 542 and PHYS 556.

Faculty

Swagato Banerjee

Assistant Professor

David N. Brown
Professor

Undergraduate Program Director

Joseph S. Chalmers

Professor Emeritus

Chris L. Davis
Professor

Graduate Program Director

Timothy E. Dowling

Professor

Jian Du-Caines

Assistant Professor

James Grubola

Professor

Victor K. Henner
Adjunct Professor

Professor of Perm State University (Russia)

Wei-Feng Huang

Professor Emeritus

Chakram S. Jayanthi
Professor

Chair

John F. Kielkopf

Professor

James T. Lauroesch

Associate Professor

Shudun Liu

Associate Professor

Sergio Mendes

Professor

Roger E. Mills

Professor Emeritus

John C. Morrison

Professor

P. J. Ouseph

Professor Emeritus

John J. Sinai

Professor Emeritus

Serban Smadici

Assistant Professor

Gamini Sumanasekera

Professor

Gerard M. Williger

Associate Professor

Shi-Yu Wu

Professor Emeritus

Ming Yu

Associate Professor