A minimum of 30 units of course work is required to complete the program. Three plans of study are available:

Plan A course work and a comprehensive final exam

Plan B faculty mentored research and a written thesis

Plan C faculty mentored research and project

The thesis option is the more traditional with focus on a research project culminating with the thesis written under fairly tight university guidelines. Projects have more flexibility for completion including journal publication and meeting presentation of the research, no formal thesis is required.

Courses required of all students (Plans A, B, & C)

  • Physics 510  Mathematical Physics         
  • Physics 520  Analytical Mechanics                
  • Physics 530A Electromagnetic Theory I       
  • Physics 555A Quantum Physics I

All 500-level courses are three units each.                 

Additional Requirements (Plan A - 6 units; Plans B & C - 3 units)

  • Physics 530B Electromagnetic Theory II         
  • Physics 555B Quantum Physics II                  
  • Physics 516  Thermal and Statistical Physics   
  • Physics 554 Solid State          

Additional Requirements (Plans B & C)

  • Physics 599  Independent Graduate Research       
  • Physics 598  Thesis     1-6 units, two semesters minimum
  • Physics 597 Project     1-3 units, two semesters minimum

The remaining 12 units (Plan A) or 6-11 units (Plan B or C) can be chosen from any of our 400- or 500-level physics elective course offering, but excluding Physics 410, 455, 495, 496, 499, and courses or their equivalents used to satisfy undergraduate degree requirements. In cases where the research objectives or career goals are interdisciplinary in another science, 400- and 500-level courses outside of physics may be chosen, e.g. in mathematics and engineering, or in teacher preparation.