
I. The Department of Physics offers a major in Physics for the Master of Science degree with concentrations in
General Physics and Computational Physics. Program objectives are: (1) development
of an indepth and specialized knowledge of physical phenomena; (2) ability to successfully
demonstrate analytic cognitive knowledge in physics and communications skills through
close interaction with other students and the physics faculty; and (3) preparation
to continue studies in a Ph.D. program, enter a professional school, or enter the
workforce as a technical professional.
II. MS Degree Program
A. Program Admission Requirements
 For admission to the graduate program, a Bachelor’s degree in Physics or a closely
related area is required; no minimum undergraduate GPA is specified. Students are
also required to present, as a prerequisite, 20 semester hours of undergraduate physics
courses including upper division Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and approved
Mathematics courses in Calculus and Differential Equations.
 The GRE general test is recommended and may enhance an applicant's likelihood of admissions.
The GRE subject test is not required.
 Students from nonEnglish speaking countries are required to demonstrate proficiency
in English via the TOEFL examination. The minimum acceptable score is 550 (or 210
on the computerbased TOEFL).
B. Program Requirements
 After meeting the general degree requirements for admission to The Graduate School,
students selecting Physics as a major will be assigned to the Physics Department Graduate
Committee, which must approve and direct their course of study.
 Core requirements

 PHYS 7100, 7200, 7300, 7386, and 7520.
 Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive written examination typically taken during
the second year of graduate study.

Concentration Requirements (Students may elect either a thesis or nonthesis program.)
 General Physics, thesis option

 Sufficient additional courses, including 36 semester hours in PHYS 7996, Thesis,
to satisfy a minimum of 30 semester hours (9 semester hours may be in a collateral
field of study). 18 semester hours must be taken in physics courses numbered 7000
or above.
 The student must present a research proposal to the graduate thesis committee at the
end of the first semester of his/her study.
 The student must complete a research project, submit a written thesis describing the
research, orally present and defend the thesis before a faculty committee. Students
should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/ Dissertation Preparation Guide before beginning to write.
 General Physics, nonthesis option

 Sufficient additional courses to satisfy a minimum of 33 semester hours, in which
9 may be in a collateral field of study. 21 semester hours must be taken in physics
courses numbered 7000 or above.
 Complete a survey of an area of current research in fundamental or applied physics
and make an oral and written presentation based on this survey before a faculty committee.
The subject of this survey must be approved by the departmental graduate committee
at least one semester prior to graduation.
 Computational Physics, thesis program

 PHYS 7385
 PHYS 7996 Thesis; must contain a strong computational physics component
 Completion of at least two of the following 7 courses (for a total of 6 credit hours)
CHEM 6415, CHEM 7411, CHEM 7414, MATH 6391, MATH 6721, MATH 7321, PHYS 7375
 Computational Physics, nonthesis program

 PHYS 7385
 Completion of at least two of the following 7 courses (for a total of 6 credit hours)
CHEM 6415, CHEM 7411, CHEM 7414, MATH 6391, MATH 6721, MATH 7321, PHYS 7375
PHYSICS (PHYS)
600009. Special Topics in Physics. (3). Selected topics of current interest in physics. Topics are varied and announced in
online class listings.
6020. Biophysics (3). Covers biomolecules, RASMOL program for viewing protein pdb files, ideal gas, Brownian
motion, diffusion, NernstPlanck eq., life in the low Reynold's number world, free
energy, Boltzmann distribution, entropic forces, RNA folding, hair cell chemomechanical
amplifier, water, osmotic flow, Oosawa force, electric double layer interaction, PoissonBoltzmann
eq., chemical potential, dissociation reactions, selfassembly, cooperativity, eigenvalues
and eigenvectors, DNA stretching and melting, thermal ratchets, Smoluchowski eq.,
MichelisMenten vs. allosteric enzymes, molecular motors, Nernst potentials, Donnan
equilibrium, ion pumps, bacterial flagellar motor, ATP synthase, potassium channels.
PREREQUISITE: calculusbased PHYS 2120.
6021. Applied Radiation Physics. (3). Applied radiation and radioactivity; types of radiation, radiation management, interaction
with matter, and biological effects; radiation safety aspects emphasized. PREREQUISITES:
PHYS 2120 or 2020 and MATH 1910.
6040. Medical Physics. (3). Physics of sensory, respiratory, and circulatory systems; physical basis of radiology
and nuclear medicine. PREREQUISITE: PHYS 2120 or both PHYS 2020 and MATH 1910.
6050. Astrophysics I. (3). Principles of physics applied to the objects of the universe, e.g., planets, sun,
stars, etc. Also includes and introduction to electromagnetic radiation and telescopes.
Recommended for science and engineering majors interested in astronomy. PREREQUISITE:
PHYS 2120 or PHYS 2520.
6051. Astrophysics II. (3). Principles of physics applied to star birth and death, black holes and neutron stars,
galaxies and quasars, the beginning and evolution of the universe. PREREQUISITE: PHYS
3051.
6060. Advanced Physics Methodology. (3). Students will perform advanced fundamental experiments in physics focusing on underlying
physical principles, the scientific methodology of experimental research, and detailed
error analysis. PREREQUISITE: PHYS 3010.
6110. Nuclear Physics. (3). Properties of atomic nuclei; radioactive transitions; alpha, beta, and gamma decay;
binding energy, nuclear forces, and nuclear models. PREREQUISITE: PHYS 3010.
6121. Mechanics II. (3). Advanced classical mechanics: central–force motion, dynamics of a system of particles,
motion in noninertial reference frames, dynamics of rigid bodies, coupled oscillations,
and continuous systems (wave motion).
6211. Optics. (3). Geometrical and physical optics including such topics as thin lenses, spherical mirrors,
lens aberrations, optical instruments, waves interference, diffraction, absorption,
transmission, and scatterings. PREREQUISITE: PHYS 3011, 3211.
6410. Introduction to Quantum Theory. (3). Experimental basis of quantum theory; development of the Schrodinger equation and
its solution for simple systems; selected applications in atomic and molecular structure.
PREREQUISITE: PHYS 3010, 3011, 3211.
6510. Thermodynamics. (3). A mathematical treatment of thermodynamics, including such topics as work, energy,
enthalpy, entropy, reversible and irreversible processes, equilibria, specific heats,
and phase transitions. PREREQUISITE: PHYS 2120, 3011.
6610. Solid State Physics. (3). Consideration of such topics as lattice vibrations, specific heats, electrical and
thermal conduction in solids, magnetism. PREREQUISITE: PHYS 4410 or 6610.
7010. Fundamental Concepts of Classical Physics for Teachers. (3). Basic concepts of Newtonian mechanics, heat, and sound; emphasis on increasing understanding
in classical physics, providing demonstrations of physical principles suitable for
classroom use, and designing and performing laboratory experiments. Credit does not
apply toward a major or minor in chemistry or physics.
‡7011. Physics Practicum I. (1). Practicum or laboratory experiments, laboratory techniques, laboratory management,
and supervised experience in presenting demonstrations with emphasis on concepts covered
in Physics 7010. Two laboratory hours per week. COREQUISITE: PHYS 7010.
‡7021. Physics Practicum II. (1). Continuation of Physics 7011 with emphasis on concepts covered in Physics 7020. Two laboratory hours per week. COREQUISITE: PHYS 7020.
‡7031. Physics Practicum III. (1). Continuation of Physics 7021 with emphasis on concepts covered in Physics 7030. Two laboratory hours per week. COREQUISITE: PHYS 7030.
705059. Special Topics in Advanced Physics. (36). Selected topics in advanced physics. Topics are varied and announced in online class
listings.
‡7060. Individual Study in Advanced Physics. (13). Independent investigation of an area of advanced physics under supervision of a Physics
faculty member. Written report required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours
credit. PREREQUISITE: permission of chair.
†7080. Teaching Skills for Graduate Assistants. (3). Overview of teaching techniques and classroom management for physics laboratory instructors;
includes practical demonstrations in laboratory physics. May be repeated for a maximum
of 12 credit hours. PREREQUISITE: Limited to physics majors and permission of graduate
coordinator.
†7090. Workshop in Professional Development for Graduate Students. (3). Presentations by Physics faculty and students on current research topic; oral presentation
required based on research performed under the supervision of a faculty member. PREREQUISITE:
Limited to physics majors and permission of graduate coordinator.
71008100. Classical Mechanics. (3). An analytical study of mechanics of particles and rigid bodies by Lagrange’s, Hamilton’s
and HamiltonJacobi methods. The special theory of relativity, canonical transformation,
and Poisson brackets are among the concepts emphasized.
72008200. Quantum Mechanics I. (3). Physical principles and mathematical formalism of quantum theory, with emphasis on
applications in atomic, molecular, and solid state physics; scattering theory; and
absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation. PREREQUISITE: PHYS 6410 or equivalent.
72018201. Quantum Mechanics II. (3). Continuation of PHYS 7200; scattering theory, quantum dynamics, spin, perturbation
methods, and HartreeFock. PREREQUISITE: PHYS 7200.
7210. Relativistic Quantum Mechanics. (3). Quantum mechanics of relativistic particles including the Dirac equation, relativistic
covariance, solutions for free particles, particles in electromagnetic fields, particles
in central fields, methods of approximation and massless particles. PREREQUISITE:
PHYS 7200 or permission of instructor.
7220. Relativistic Quantum Fields. (3). General formalism of fields, the KleinGordon field, second quantization of the Dirac
field, quantization of electromagnetic fields, interacting fields, scattering matrix
perturbation theory, dispersion relations, and renormalization. PREREQUISITE: PHYS
7210 or permission of instructor.
7230. Elementary Particles. (3). Introduction to elementary particles, elementary particle dynamics, relativistic
kinematics, symmetries, bound states, Feynman calculus, quantum electrodynamics, electrodynamics
of quarks and hadrons, quantum chromodynamics, weak interactions, and gauge theories.
PREREQUISITE: PHYS 7200 or permission of instructor.
7300. Electrodynamics. (3). An advanced course in electricity and magnetism; topics include fields and potentials,
energy methods, steady currents and magnetic materials, Maxwell’s equations, and electromagnetic
waves.
7375. Methods of Mathematical Physics I. (3). (Same as MATH 7375). Finite dimensional vector spaces, matrices, tensors, vector fields, function spaces,
differential and integral operators, transform theory, partial differential equations.
PREREQUISITE: Background in ordinary differential equations and linear algebra.
7376. Methods of Mathematical Physics II. (3). (Same as MATH 7376). Continuation of PHYS 7375. Complex variable theory, asymptotic expansions, special
functions, calculus of variations, additional topics on matrices and operators, topics
in nonlinear analysis. PREREQUISITE: PHYS 7375.
7385. Methods of Computational Physics. (3). Solution of problems in macroscopic and atomiclevel problems in physics by numerical
analysis and computer simulation, with emphasis on the accuracy and efficiency of
largescale computations and the physical interpretation of results.
7386. Methods of Theoretical Physics. (3). Use of orthogonal functions in solving problems of continuum mechanics, electrodynamics,
and quantum mechanics; algebra of commutators applied to angular momentum; introduction
to group theory and symmetry groups in physics.
75208520. Statistical Mechanics. (3). Elements of kinetic theory and applications to gases, specific heats, magnetism,
etc.; partition functions, introduction to Boltzmann statistics and quantum statistics.
7710. Advanced Topics in Spectroscopy. (3). Advanced topics in atomic and molecular spectroscopy, including the interaction of
radiation with matter, transition probabilities, hyperfine structure, applications
of group theory to spectroscopic problems.
†7995. Seminar. (13). Selected topics in physics research including areas of medical physics. Students
required to give oral presentation based on library or original research.
†7996. Thesis. (16). Original investigation of an assigned problem in the area of graduate study to be
carried out under the supervision of a qualified member of the staff. This investigation
will furnish the material for a thesis. Scientific articles, progress reports, and
special problems of interest are reviewed and discussed by the student in seminars
each semester. A maximum of six semester hours credit is allowed toward a master’s
degree.
†Grades of S, U, or IP will be given. ‡Grades of AF, or IP will be given.
