Students graduating with an M.S. in physics will:
- Have an advanced knowledge of the basic areas of physics.
- Be able to integrate their knowledge with critical thinking skills in order to become problem solvers.
- Be able to clearly articulate scientific information, both orally and in writing.
- Be able to effectively use the scientific literature.
Students graduating with an M.S. in physics will be prepared for entry into professional schools, graduate programs or the job market.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a master of science degree with thesis and non-thesis options. The Department of Physics is an academic discipline eligible for full participation in UMKC's Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. Qualified students can select physics as their coordinating unit or co-discipline when applying for admission or preparing their Ph.D. plan of study. (See the School of Graduate Studies section of this catalog for details about the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program.)
To be admitted to the graduate program, a student must meet the general admission requirements for the School of Graduate Studies and have undergraduate preparation in physics. An undergraduate major in physics is not required, and deficiencies in completed coursework may be overcome by taking additional undergraduate-level courses for graduate credit. Applicants are encouraged to take both the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) aptitude test and physics test. International students must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Admission will be based on academic record and other information such as letters of reference, GRE score and personal interview. See the School of Graduate Studies section in this catalog for requirements for admission to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program.
Career Implications of the Master's Degree
The master's degree programs in physics are intended to serve the following groups:
- Those who wish to obtain a master of science degree but do not expect to go further in graduate work.
- Those who intend to work toward a Ph.D. in physics after obtaining the M.S. degree.
- Those who wish to take graduate courses in physics as part of a program in some other discipline or for educational or professional reasons.
- Those who wish to obtain an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree from UMKC in two or more academic disciplines, one of which is physics.
The career implications for students with an M.S. degree in physics and seeking employment are similar to those with B.S. degrees, but they will have a more advanced standing and experience in science department activities.
A student who is entering the graduate program with the objective of earning a master of science degree will select or be assigned an adviser. This assignment should be made during the first semester, if possible. Together, the student and the adviser will work out the complete program of study for the master of science degree. Students entering UMKC's Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, and choosing physics as one of their academic disciplines, must follow the academic regulations of the School of Graduate Studies as set forth in the School of Graduate Studies section in this catalog. All graduate students in physics who have completed more than 6 graduate credit hours must take a departmental examination offered in January.
Scholarships, Fellowships and Assistantships
Financial support is available through fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships or hourly student wages. Students wishing to be considered for an assistantship must so specify in their letters and application forms.
Description of the Program
The master of science degree may be earned by fulfilling the requirements for the master of science with thesis or the master of science without thesis. A full-time graduate student seeking a master of science degree will normally be expected to take the thesis option. The without-thesis option is mainly designed for part-time students who already have career employment.
Requirements for the M.S. Degree With Thesis
1. 30 graduate credit hours with the following constraints:
• At least fifteen (15) hours from M.S. Core Courses;
• At least fifteen (15) hours of M.S. Elective Courses with no more than six (6) hours from Physics 5599;
2. A comprehensive written examination, passed at the "passing", "qualifying" or "comprehensive" level, covering all basic areas of undergraduate and graduate physics;
3. A satisfactory* thesis, written and defended;
4. General requirements set by the School of Graduate Studies.
Requirements for the M.S. Degree Without Thesis
1. 33 graduate credit hours with the following constraints:
• At least fifteen (15) credit hours of core M.S. courses;
• No more than twelve (12) credit hours of 400-level courses;
• At least six (6) credit hours of 500-level M.S. Elective courses.
2. A comprehensive written examination, passed at the "passing", "qualifying" or "comprehensive" level, covering all basic areas of undergraduate and graduate physics.
All graduate students must maintain a grade-point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0). A student who chooses the thesis option must maintain satisfactory progress on a research project. There are no language requirements for the M.S. degree.
Graduate students should consult with the graduate adviser** prior to enrollment.
M.S. Core Courses
PHYSICS 5510: Theoretical Mechanics I
PHYSICS 5520: Electromagnetic Theory I
PHYSICS 5530: Quantum Mechanics I
PHYSICS 5540: Statistical Physics I
PHYSICS 5521: Electromagnetic Theory II
PHYSICS 5531: Quantum Mechanics II
M.S. Elective Courses
PHYSICS 5500: Methods Of Mathematical Physics I
PHYSICS 5501: Methods Of Mathematical Physics II
PHYSICS 5511: Theoretical Mechanics II
PHYSICS 5535: Optical Properties Of Matter
PHYSICS 5541: Statistical Physics II
PHYSICS 5550: Atomic And Molecular Structure
PHYSICS 5560: Nuclear Physics
PHYSICS 5570: Quantum Theory of Solids I
PHYSICS 5590: Topics In Physics
PHYSICS 5595L: Computer Interfacing Laboratory
PHYSICS 5599: Research And Thesis
PHYSICS 410: Thermal Physics
PHYSICS 420: Optics
PHYSICS 476LW: Advanced Lab
PHYSICS 450: Introduction To Solid State Physics
PHYSICS 460: Electricity And Magnetism I
PHYSICS 461: Electricity And Magnetism II
PHYSICS 472: Introduction To Quantum Mechanics
*Satisfactory is determined by the students committee
**Prof. A. Caruso, Flarsheim 250H, 816-235-2505, firstname.lastname@example.org