VCU Bulletins

Physics and Applied Physics, Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree requirements

Each student is required to take 30 semester credits of approved graduate courses (see M.S. plan of study) with at least 15 semester credits at the 600 level. PHYS 690 and PHYS 697 may not exceed 15 of the required 30 credit hours.

M.S. plan of study

Each student will choose a primary adviser during the first semester of study. At the end of the first semester, the student and adviser will propose an M.S. plan of study to the Graduate Curriculum Committee. This plan will include the graduate courses and research subject matter to fulfill the student’s individual career goals.

Normally, each student will select courses for their individual M.S. plan of study from the list of graduate courses in physics. The courses selected will include no fewer than nine credits of traditional physics core courses, such as PHYS 576 and PHYS 580, to provide a solid foundation in fundamental physics. However, students also may select graduate courses in chemistry, mathematics, computer science and engineering, as well as from the schools of Medicine and Education, when such courses are consistent with the student’s career goals.

The M.S. plan of study must be approved by the Physics Graduate Curriculum Committee. Courses taken outside this plan will not count toward the above general course requirements.

Thesis or non-thesis option

Each student must select either the thesis option or non-thesis option. Students selecting the thesis option must take at least nine credit hours of PHYS 697 Directed Research. No more than nine semester credits of Directed Research may be counted toward the 15 credit 600-level requirement.

Students selecting the non-thesis option may take no more than three hours of PHYS 697. A student who elects the non-thesis option must pass a written comprehensive exam. This exam will be administered by the Physics Graduate Curriculum Committee.