Feb 23, 2020  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Physics, MS

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics  > Department of Physics  > Physics, MS

Physics is a broad subject that ranges from the origins of the universe to the design of better electronic memory devices. Students with a Bachelor’s degree in physics or related fields are encouraged to apply to the Department of Physics Master’s program. The program is suitable both as a means of professional development and preparation for further graduate study. Students will normally complete the requirements within four semesters, starting with basic “core” courses in classical mechanics, electrodynamics, quantum mechanics and statistical physics, followed by a number of elective courses or a master’s thesis. Our research groups provide world-class training and experience designed to give students the skills that are highly valued by the various electronics, medical, financial, and energy industries, as well as academia.

Please visit the Physics Graduate Programs page for more information.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are expected to have completed, or be in their last semester of completing, a bachelor’s in physics or a related field, or a master’s degree, and have acquired a working knowledge of the basic areas of physics including mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism. Applicants will need to submit scores from the General GRE examination taken in the last 5 years (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing; advanced GRE is recommended but optional). International applicants have further documentation requirements, including proof of English language proficiency, as described on the Graduate International Students website. International Applications require a $75 application fee.

Admission to the program is competitive within the applicant pool. The admissions committee and the department chair will evaluate the credentials of each applicant for the M.S. program, considering a broad range of criteria, including:

  1. Content of the undergraduate program and, if applicable, graduate program and grades earned, particularly in the areas of physics and mathematics.
  2. A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better in the last 60 hours.
  3. Letters of recommendation from three (3) individuals (preferably faculty members).
  4. GRE scores (see above).
  5. Fulfilling the university’s English Language Proficiency  requirement.
  6. Scientific, professional, and technical publications (if applicable).

Degree Requirements

Credit hours required for this degree: Thesis, 30.0/Non-Thesis, 36.0

To receive the degree of Master of Science in Physics, a student must satisfy one of the two options below:

Thesis Option

A student must successfully complete a minimum of 30 semester hours for which graduate credit is accepted by the department, to include the following courses:

  • Core Courses

  • Credit Hours: 3.0
  • Credit Hours: 3.0
  • Credit Hours: 3.0
  • Credit Hours: 3.0
  • Credit Hours: 3.0

    Master’s Thesis

  • PHYS 6X99 and/or PHYS 7X99, A minimum of three but no more than six semester hours in the graduating semester
  • The student must select a thesis advisor before the second semester of graduate work has been completed. Shortly after a thesis advisor has been selected, a thesis committee must be selected jointly by the student and the thesis advisor. The committee must consist of the advisor, at least two members of the physics graduate faculty, and at least one University of Houston faculty member from outside the department. Further details on committee composition can be found at NSM Graduate Degree Requirements . The student must present an acceptable thesis of original scientific research in physics and defend it orally before the thesis committee.

Non-Thesis Option

A student must successfully complete a minimum of 36 semester hours for which graduate credit is accepted by the department, to include the following courses:

Academic Policies

University of Houston Academic Policies   

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Academic Policies  

Department Academic Policies

  • The student must maintain a B in each core graduate courses.
  • Students working on a thesis must have a thesis committee on file with the College no later than the semester prior to the anticipated graduating semester. Details about committee composition policies can be found on the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Graduate Degree Requirements  webpage.
  • Scholastic Requirements: Graduate students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in all course work to be considered in good standing. Students not in good standing cannot receive a graduate degree and can be declared ineligible for support with a graduate assistantship (IA, TA or RA).
  • All graduate students are required to attend the weekly Department of Physics Colloquium. Failure to do so without an approved proper excuse may result in a loss of financial support.