The physics department offers both a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy at the graduate level.
Available with either a thesis or non-thesis option. Each option has the same set of core courses, but differ slightly in some requirements. It usually takes four semesters for a student to obtain this degree. M.S. for teachers is also offered.
Admission into Master of Science without thesis program does not guarantee automatic admission into PhD program. If, upon successful completion of the MS program, such students decide to continue, their application to PhD program will be considered with general pool of the PhD applicants at the time of the application.
Students prepare for research by taking courses appropriate for a Ph.D. degree, and most obtain a master's degree as a first step. Each student has two chances to pass the Qualifying Examination. The ultimate goal is to successfully conduct an original research project with the help of a faculty adviser. This research is then comprehensively written up as a thesis and defended in a final oral examination.
Requires 30 hours of graduate credit:
A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained for all graduate coursework.
Requires 30 hours of graduate credit:
A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained for all graduate coursework. No comprehensive exam is required for completion of this degree.
Requires 30 hours of graduate credit in science and math:
A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained for all graduate coursework
This degree will be planned for each admitted student by an advisory committee and approved by the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies.
This program is approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Students intending to teach in other states are responsible for investigating the reciprocity agreement of that state agency.
Requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree.
At least 30 hours in lecture courses at the 4000, 5000 or 6000-level. The following courses are required:
At least 30 hours in Physics 6099 Graduate Research during which the student will perform supervised scientific research, culminating in a written Ph.D. thesis that will be defended in an oral thesis defense.
A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained for all graduate coursework. The student must pass a Ph.D. qualifying exam after completing the core course requirements for the MS degree (Physics 6101, 6111, 6201). Upon completion of all course work except research, the student must pass the Ph.D. comprehensive exam, which is designed to ensure the student’s ability to perform independent research.
Students who have a Masters degree get a 30 hour credit and thus have to complete 42 credit hours, 12 of which have to be in lecture courses at the 4000, 5000 or 6000-level. At least 24 hours in Physics 6099 Graduate Research are required.
Students interested in joining Physics Department Graduate Program, should contact Admissions for admission requirements, open an account and apply at https://connect.mst.edu/apply/. Additional information can be found here. There is no specific deadline for students applying for Master of Science without thesis program, qualified applicants are accepted until an annual cap (for Spring and Fall semesters combined) has been reached. For all other applicants, the deadline is January 31 to be considered for the Fall semester.
The Qualifying Exam should be taken early in the student’s graduate studies as soon as the core physics courses for the MS degree have been taken. This exam determines whether or not a student has achieved a satisfactory degree of mastery of basic physics concepts and is qualified to pursue more advanced study and research in the PhD program. Students who fail this exam on their second attempt will be denied matriculation in the PhD program. The exam covers all of the undergraduate physics curriculum, plus the graduate curriculum at the level of the core MS courses. Exam questions are regularly drawn from the following subject areas at the level indicated:
Quantum mechanics (first graduate course, typical texts: Messiah; Sakurai; Cohen- Tannoudji , Diu , Lal oë )
Classical mechanics (first graduate course, text: Goldstein, 2nd or 3rd editions)
Electrodynamics (first graduate course, text: Jackson)
Statistical and thermal physics (advanced undergraduate course, text: Reif )
Relativity, nuclear, and particle physics (intermediate undergraduate Modern Physics course)
Exams from previous years: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014
The department's research emphasis areas include both fundamental and applied studies in three areas of physics:
Experimental and theoretical research opportunities are available for study in each of these areas.
Physics graduate students are able to work with faculty on a wide range of problems, including: