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Master of Science in Physics

Academic Requirements
Core Requirements
Additional Non-Thesis Requirements
Additional Thesis Requirements

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences offers a program of study leading to a master of science in physics degree. This program is designed to provide a solid foundation in physics course work (beyond the baccalaureate level) and research essential for pursuing doctoral studies in physics or related academic areas. The successful student will be prepared to enter the work force or enter a high quality Ph.D. program. The M.S. program is also designed to facilitate research that will significantly contribute to the understanding of the physical universe.

The student may choose either a thesis or non-thesis program leading to the master of science in physics degree. The specialization areas are: (1) experimental high energy and nuclear physics, (2) experimental fluid dynamics and plasma physics, (3) computational physics, (4) molecular physics, (5) quantum chemistry, (6) astrophysics, (7) experimental condensed matter physics, and (8) accelerator and laser physics.

Admission to the master of science in physics program is in conformity with the uniform requirements that the Board of Governors has established for the entire State University System of Florida. These include:
1.    A 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) cumulative grade point average covering the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate preparation, or a combined score of 1000 on the Verbal and Quantitative Sections of the Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination must be achieved;
2.    The possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education;
3.    Acceptance of undergraduate seniors into the master of science program is conditional upon their completion of all requirements for the baccalaureate degree before commencement of graduate studies;
4.    In addition, other factors such as motivation, attitude, and potential for successful graduate work will be considered. These factors will be judged from at least two letters of recommendation from undergraduate physics instructors and/or personal interviews. Conditional acceptance into the graduate program may be granted as a result of these letters or interview when requirement 2 is not met. However, a student may not remain in the program for more than one semester with a conditional acceptance;
5.    Foreign students whose native language is not English must make a score of at least 550 on the TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language).

Academic Requirements
The requirements consist of a set of core requirements and then separate requirements for the thesis and non-thesis programs:

Core Requirements
1.    Completion of 24 semester hours of the core curriculum which consists of:
    PHY 6246, 6247 Classical Dynamics I and Classical Dynamics II
    PHY 6346, 6347 Electrodynamics I and Electrodynamics II   
    PHY 6524 Quantum Statistical Mechanics
    PHY 6645, 6646 Quantum Mechanics I and Quantum Mechanics II
    PHZ 6115 Mathematical Methods for Physics I
    These courses must be completed with at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA);
2.    A grade of 3.0 (out of 4.0) must be made on the departmental proficiency examination. This exam consists of a written examination given twice per year covering the content of an undergraduate program in basic physics. All first year graduate students must take the exam before or during their second semester of graduate study;
3.    After completion of the requirements for a thesis or non-thesis program, the degree candidate shall be required to pass an oral examination of the master of science in physics core course work. The exam shall be set by the candidate’s graduate committee which shall consist of four physics faculty members. If the student has completed a thesis, one committee member will be the candidate’s thesis advisor and the exam will also include a defense of the thesis. If the candidate is not a thesis student, the exam may also cover additional course work. The additional courses to be covered will be communicated by the committee to the student at least one month prior to the examination;
4.    Every candidate is required to teach at least one undergraduate laboratory for one semester (PHY 6110r).

Additional Non-Thesis Requirements
1.    In addition to the 24 semester hours of core curriculum, 12 semester hours must be taken from Physics courses numbered 5000 and above with at least 9 taken on a letter grade basis.
Additional Thesis Requirements
1.    In addition to the 24 semester hours of core curriculum, 9 semester hours must be taken from physics courses numbered 5000 and above with at least 6 semester hours taken on a letter grade basis.
2.    The candidate must submit a thesis which is accepted by the thesis advisor and the thesis committee. Acceptance is given by signature.
3.    No more than 3 semester hours of PHY 6918 credit and 3 semester hours of PHY 6110 credit may be counted toward the master of science in physics degree.
4.    At least 3 semester hours of thesis credit (PHY 5971r) must be passed.