Jun 28, 2022  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 [Archived Catalog]

Physics - MS

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Degree Title and Name:  Master of Science in Physics

Program Name and Number:  Physics – MS3331

Department/Unit: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Delivery Mode:  Athens Campus

Terms of Entry:  Fall, Spring, Summer

Program Overview:  The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers the Master of Science degree, which is achieved through a combination of research and course work. The M.S. degree can be earned by submission of a research thesis with an oral examination and at least 14 credit hours of graduate level lecture or laboratory courses in Physics and Astronomy. It can also be obtained under a non-thesis option, which requires satisfactory completion of a faculty-approved project (one to four credits) and the Department’s set of six core courses. The research activities in the Department are broad and include astrophysics and cosmology, biophysics, condensed matter and surface sciences, and nuclear and particle physics. Experimental and theoretical studies take place in these areas. Furthermore, inter-disciplinary and inter-departmental programs are also possible.

Program Learning Objectives:

  • Develop analytical skills and the ability to solve problems.
  • Achieve a good understanding of physical laws and principles.
  • Gain experience with measurement techniques and equipment.
  • Develop the ability to assess uncertainties and assumptions.
  • Demonstrate the ability to present the results of investigations orally (with thesis) and in writing (without thesis).
  • Acquire facility in the use of mathematics to solve problems and test hypotheses.

Opportunities for Graduates:  Students achieving the M.S. in Physics and Astronomy can go on and pursue further graduate studies in Physics and Astronomy or in other fields. They can also obtain positions as professional scientists. The M.S. is the minimal professional qualification for most physicist/astrophysicist positions in the USA. 

Link to Program: http://www.ohio.edu/cas/physastro/grad/ms-program/index.cfm

Graduation Requirements:

The following requirements must be satisfied to graduate.

M.S., non-thesis option

  1. Satisfactory completion of the six core classes that comprise the core graduate curriculum.
  2. Minimum of 30 semester hours.
  3. Faculty approved project (one to four credits).

Students taking the normal load of three courses per semester in year 1 and working on their approved research project in year 2, complete the program in 2 years. The final course capstone is a M.S. project.

M.S. by thesis

  1. Minimum of 30 semester hours.
  2. Minimum of 14 credits of graduate laboratory and/or lecture courses in Physics and Astronomy numbered 5xxx, 6xxx, 7xxx excluding research courses PHYS 6940 and PHYS 6950.
  3. Submission of research thesis and oral examination.

Students taking the normal load of three courses per semester in year 1 and working on their research project in year 2, complete the program in 2 years. The final course capstone is a M.S. thesis manuscript.

Culminating Experiences:

  • Faculty-approved project (non-thesis option).
  • Oral defense of a written thesis (thesis option).

Admission Requirements:  Students entering this program are normally expected to have successfully concluded undergraduate work in mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics. They should also possess a working knowledge of mathematics including calculus, ordinary differential equations, Fourier series, vector analysis, and basic elements of partial differential equations. The minimum grade point average (GPA) requirement is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). The Verbal and Quantitative GRE General Tests are recommended. The Physics GRE Subject Test is optional. All non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency by submitting official test scores for either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS academic). The minimum scores for TOEFL are 95 (iBT) or 590 (PBT paper-based); for the IELTS a minimum score of 7 across all bands is required. Deficiencies of undergraduate preparation should not deter a prospective student with an otherwise good record, as these may be made up during the first year of graduate study.

Application packages should be completed by January 15; offers are made by April 15. Usually students enter the physics program in the fall.  Entry during the spring or summer is possible although not generally encouraged. For all details concerning graduate programs, contact the Chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee (physicsgradapps@ohio.edu).

International Students:  This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

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