Master of Science (MSc)
About the Program
The Physics Master’s degree program provides a high-quality educational experience for students who seek coursework and/or an advanced degree in physics. Integrally linked to this purpose is our intent that the Master's degree enhances our undergraduate program while it complements related graduate programs at UCCS. Finally, a graduate program provides students with research opportunities that utilize the latest methodologies and equipment.
The Master’s program is ideal for students that are already employed in industry or government, where there is a continual need for them to upgrade their skills. In addition, students can design a more specialized degree, by concentrating a couple of their courses in areas either inside or outside of physics. Concentration areas could include solid state physics, optics, quantum physics, computational physics, space studies, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, geography, computer science, applied mathematics, or other graduate disciplines. These concentration areas might be appropriate for students who have very well-defined career objectives that require a combination of physics with another discipline.
Focus of Study
Our Master's program offers opportunities to extend the student's knowledge of fundamental and applied physics. The program is also ideal for students who are already employed in industry, government, or education where there is a continual need for them to upgrade their skills. This program is also appropriate for students who have very well-defined career objectives that require a combination of physics with another discipline.
- 30 hours of coursework, either 24 credit hours of coursework plus six hours of thesis work (the thesis option) or 30 credit hours of course work without a thesis (the non thesis option).
- Regular degree students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average each semester or summer term on all work taken, whether or not it is to be applied toward the advanced degree intended. Students who fail to maintain this standard of performance will be subject to suspension from the Graduate School
- The Master's Comprehensive Exam is an exit oral exam that must be passed by all students. Students electing the thesis option may substitute an oral defense of their thesis. Students in the non-thesis option are required to write a short (15 page, double-spaced) typed paper summarizing either some original research or summarizing a research topic in current physics. The paper should be at a graduate physics level. The exam consists of a 30-40 minute presentation of the paper with questions on the topic from the faculty. More details can be found in the UCCS Physics Master handbook.
- The committees for exit exams will consist of three members of the graduate faculty, one of whom is the student's advisor. The other two members will typically be from the physics department, but one may be selected from a related discipline such as electrical engineering, mathematics, computer science or chemistry. The student's physics faculty adviser is in charge of selecting the committee.
Specialization Track Options
In addition to the general requirements listed above, the UCCS Department of Physics and Energy Science offers two options Thesis and Non-Thesis:
For the thesis option, the student must take 24 credit hours. Thesis work is an additional six hours (usually three credits per semester) for a total of 30 credit hours. For the thesis option, students are strongly encouraged to identify a Physics faculty adviser for their research when they start in the program, whose research interests match those of the student.
The non-thesis option requires 30 credit hours from the approved courses.
In order to design a more specialized degree, students should consult with the Physics graduate program advisor Prof. Robert Camley to establish a course sequence for the MSc degree. Most courses should be taken in Physics.
For the current admission requirements, please visit the Academic Catalog.