May 26, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Physics, MS


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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 terms, 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: http://www.uh.edu/nsm/physics/graduate/.

Admission Requirements


Applicants are expected to have completed, or be in their last term 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. Scores from the General GRE examination taken in the last 5 years are optional (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.

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, if submitted (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 credit hours for which graduate credit is accepted by the department, to include the following courses:

Master’s Thesis


  • PHYS 6X99 and/or PHYS 7X99, A minimum of three but no more than six credit hours in the graduating term
    The student must select a thesis advisor before the second term 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 credit hours for which graduate credit is accepted by the department, to include the following courses:

Advanced Courses


  • In addition, 21 credit hours of  advanced courses are required. They should be selected from the lists below of Advanced Core Courses and Advanced Elective courses
    • Advanced Core Courses

Academic Policies


  • University of Houston Academic Policies   
  • College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Academic Policies  
  • Department Academic Policies
    • Students must maintain a B average in the core graduate courses and may not make more than two B-minus grades in the core courses listed above. Students working on a thesis must have a thesis committee on file with the College no later than the term prior to the anticipated graduating term. 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.

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