Master of Science

student in classroom labThe M.S. degree requires satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours of course work at the 50000 and 60000 levels. Twenty-four credits must be in physics or in approved substitute courses relevant to the student’s research plan. For example some courses could be in biophysics, chemistry, computer science, or engineering. Six of the required hours are obtained through research work. Another six credit hours of the total of 30 must be earned in mathematics, which may be substituted by certain physics or computer science courses.

Non-thesis students complete a research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor and write a project report. A final examination is required.

In the thesis option the student completes a research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor, and writes a thesis that must meet formal formatting rules specified by the Graduate School. A final examination (thesis defense) is required.

Most candidates for the M.S. degree take the degree under the non-thesis option. No grades below a C- in 50000 level physics courses are accepted.

A minimum GPA of 2.8/4.0 must be maintained for both the non-thesis and thesis programs.

Plan of Study

During his/her first year, the student will generally take courses that meet the Mathematics and core Physics requirements.

Students choose an advisor as soon as possible but not later than the end of his/her second semester. Once an advisor is chosen, an advisory committee, consisting of the advisor and two other faculty members in the Department, should be appointed. The student will work with this group to develop a Plan of Study for the remainder of his/her Master’s program. Courses taken should reflect a coherent theme of interest.


Students are encouraged to seek an advisor during the first semester at IUPUI and are required to start their research project during their second semester.

Areas of active research within the Department include, biological physics, AMO physics, condensed matter physics, and physics education. Interdisciplinary research is common. Strong collaborations exist between our faculty and members of other departments of the School of Science, and with the School of Medicine, School of Engineering and Technology and the School of Informatics. Learn more.