Coursework for the M.S. Program

The requirements for the M.S. degree in Physics consist of the following:

  • Minimum of 30 graduate credits taken (course number 500 or higher);
  • At least 12 credits shall be at 600-level or higher;
  • At least 21 of the credits must be in physics;
  • At least half of the total credits must be for a letter grade, and the GPA must be at least 3.0;
  • Independent Study credits are allowed;
  • A maximum of 6 credits of graduate-level coursework taken at another institution can be transferred to the UMass M.S. program.  For the Accelerated M.S. program, available to UMass and other Five-College students only, 9 credits may be transferred (but cannot have been used in satisfying requirements for their undergraduate degree).

Examples of course sequences are provided below.  These are only examples, and it is up to each student, in consultation with their academic advisor, to plan an appropriate program of studies.  Please see the Course Catalog to have a better idea of course offerings.

Examples of Possible M.S. Tracks

Focus: preparing for a Ph.D. program in condensed matter physics

Fall Semester 1

  • Physics 601 (Classical Mechanics: 3 cr);
  • Physics 605 (Mathematical Methods in Physics: 4 cr).

Spring Semester 2

  • Physics 606 (Classical Electrodynamics: 4 cr);
  • Physics 614 (Quantum Mechanics I: 3 cr);

Fall Semester 3

  • Physics 602 (Statistical Mechanics: 3 cr);
  • Physics 615 (Quantum Mechanics II: 3 cr);
  • Physics 850 (Soft Condensed Matter Physics: 3 cr).

Spring Semester 4

  • Physics 558 (Solid State Physics: 3 cr).
  • Physics 531 (Electronics for Scientists I: 4 cr);

Total credits: 30

Focus: preparing for a Ph.D. program in nuclear/particle physics

Fall Semester 1

  • Physics 601 (Classical Mechanics: 3 cr);
  • Physics 605 (Mathematical Methods in Physics: 4 cr).

Spring Semester 2

  • Physics 606 (Classical Electrodynamics: 4 cr);
  • Physics 614 (Quantum Mechanics I: 3 cr);

Fall Semester 3

  • Physics 602 (Statistical Mechanics: 3 cr);
  • Physics 615 (Quantum Mechanics II: 3 cr);
  • Physics 714 (Introduction to High Energy Physics: 3 cr).

Spring Semester 4

  • Physics 811 (Quantum Field Theory I: 3 cr).
  • Physics 852 (Special Topics in High Energy Physics: 3 cr);
  • Physics 531 (Electronics for Scientists I: 4 cr);

Total credits: 33

Focus: Instrumentation, for students preparing for career in industry

Fall Semester 1

  • Physics 531 (Electronics for Scientists I: 4 cr);
  • Physics 605 (Mathematical Methods in Physics: 4 cr).

Spring Semester 2

  • Physics 553 (Optics: 4 cr);
  • Physics 558 (Solid State Physics: 3 cr);

Fall Semester 3

  • Physics 602 (Statistical Mechanics: 3 cr);
  • Physics 796 (Independent Study in a Lab: 4 cr);

Spring Semester 4

  • Physics 606 (Classical Electrodynamics: 4 cr).
  • Physics 896 (Independent Study in a Lab: 4 cr);

Total credits: 30