Master of Science in Physics

Admission Requirements

The student must apply to and meet all criteria for admission to the Graduate School. In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School, the student must comply with departmental requirements.

A complete graduate application for classified status in the Idaho State University Physics Department consists of:

  1. GRE aptitude scores;
  2. An Idaho State University Graduate School Application form, fees, and official copies of transcripts;
  3. Three letters of recommendation;
  4. A resume or CV; and
  5. A brief statement of career goals.

Applicants must hold the degree of Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Physics, or a closely related field. The student’s course of study will be determined by consultation with the chair and the student’s major advisor. In some circumstances, a placement examination will be given. Students will normally be required to complete as deficiencies any courses required for the B.S. in Physics at Idaho State University that they have not already taken. Continued enrollment in the program is contingent upon maintaining a 3.0 grade point average and upon making satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Thesis Option:

A satisfactory score on physics examination(s) may be required before admission to candidacy. A total of 30 credits are required for the Master of Science Degree.

Required Courses
PHYS 5525Nuclear and Particle Physics I3
PHYS 6602Theoretical Methods of Physics3
PHYS 6611Electricity and Magnetism3
PHYS 6621Classical Mechanics3
PHYS 6624Quantum Mechanics3
PHYS 6625Quantum Mechanics3
PHYS 6650Thesis 16
Additional graduate-level credits approved by the student's advisor, department chair, and the Graduate School12
Total Credits36

1A public presentation of the thesis is required, along with a satisfactory oral defense to the thesis committee consisting of two departmental members and one GFR.

Non-Thesis Option:

There are two mechanisms by which a student may attain a non-thesis M.S. degree. First, students in the Ph.D. program who do not pass the qualifying examination at the Ph.D. level after two attempts may complete a non-thesis M.S. degree. The required core courses for the non-thesis M.S. degree are the same as those for the Ph.D., i.e., those listed above. In addition, a non-thesis M.S. student must pass the qualifying examination at a level appropriate for the M.S. and he or she must complete an oral presentation and defense of a written proposal for research project to the student’s graduate committee.

Second, students in the Ph.D. program who have completed all required courses for the Ph.D. and have passed both their qualifying examination and their oral presentation and defense of a written proposal for research project are eligible for a non-thesis M.S. degree.