Physics Master's Program

Admission Formscollage

Admission documents into the MSc program are consistent with those specified by the UCCS Graduate School. These admission documents required of applicants are as follows:

  • Submit two complete official transcripts of all previous graduate and undergraduate work
  • Submit three letters of recommendation
  • Make application through UCCS Admissions online form
  • Deadlines: July 1 for fall semester, December 1 for spring semester, May 1st for summer semester

    For more information on our Graduate programs, prospective students should contact the Graduate Co-Adviser Prof. Robert Camley. Students already in the program should contact the Graduate Co-Adviser, Assist. Prof. Karen Livesey for information on graduation paperwork. For more information on the application process, please contact Admissions or the UCCS Graduate School.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants with a BA or BS in physics or in a related area, such as chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering or mathematics, are natural candidates for graduate study in physics
  • A BS or BA degree from a college or university of recognized standing, or work equivalent to that required for such a degree and equivalent to the degree given at this university
  • Considerable course work in physics
  • Sufficient mathematical background, i.e. at least two semesters of mathematics beyond the normal calculus sequence, such as differential equations and mathematical methods of physics
  • Promise of ability to pursue advanced study and research
  • Undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

Students with an undergraduate grade point average of less than 3.0 but at or above 2.5, or students with an inadequate background, may be allowed into the program provisionally. This decision would be made by the UCCS Physics Graduate Student Committee. Provisional status would subsequently be removed and a student given regular standing after completion of nine hours of graduate courses with a 3.0 average (or better).

      Additional requirements for some students:

  • students with international transcripts must take the Physics GRE exam. A minimum score for regular admission is in the range of 520-550.
  • applicants for whom English is a second language must complete the TOEFL exam with a minimum score of 560 (paper-based exam) or 83 (internet-based exam) or 220 (internet-based exam). A band score of 6.5 on the IELTS is also acceptable. If the student has successfully completed one year of full-time academic study at a U.S. institution, this requirement can be waived. An oral interview may also be required, as the department sees fit.

  • promising students who do not meet all of the requirements may be considered as provisional applicants

Transfer Student Requirements

Students who are transferring from other physics graduate programs must meet the minimum standards outlined above and, in addition, have a 3.0 average (or better) in all graduate work done previously. Full credit, up to nine hours (normally one semester of full-time course work), will be given for course work done previously, assuming the prior work is done at accredited institutions with approved programs. Course equivalency will be decided by the UCCS Physics Graduate Student Committee after interviewing the student and comparing textbooks, class notes, or any other helpful documentation.

Degree Requirements for Graduation

  • 30 hours of course work, either 24 credit hours of course work plus six hours of thesis work (the thesis option) or 30 credit hours of course work without a thesis (the non thesis option)
  • Regular degree students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average each semester or summer term on all work taken, whether or not it is to be applied toward the advanced degree intended. Students who fail to maintain this standard of performance will be subject to suspension from the Graduate School
  • The Master's Comprehensive Exam is an exit oral exam that must be passed by all students. Students electing the thesis option may substitute an oral defense of their thesis. Students in the non-thesis option are required to write a short (15 page, double-spaced) typed paper summarizing either some original research or summarizing a research topic in current physics. The paper should be at a graduate physics level. The exam consists of a 30-40 minute presentation of the paper with questions on the topic from the faculty.
  • The committees for exit exams will consist of three members of the graduate faculty, one of whom is the student's advisor. The other two members will typically be from the physics department, but one may be selected from a related discipline such as electrical engineering, mathematics, computer science or chemistry.

Degree Options

Thesis and Non-Thesis: For the thesis option, the student must take 24 credit hours. Thesis work is an additional six hours (three credits per semester) for a total of 30 credit hours. The non-thesis option requires 30 credit hours from the approved courses.

Concentration areas: In order to design a more specialized degree, students may concentrate their elective courses in areas outside of physics. Concentration areas could include space studies, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, geography, computer science, applied mathematics or other graduate disciplines. These concentration areas might be appropriate for students who have very well-defined career objectives which require a combination of physics with another discipline. Students should consult with the Physics graduate program advisor to establish a course sequence for the MSc degree.

Master of Sciences Physics Curriculum

Approved graduate courses include:

Course Credits
PHYS 5030 Mathematical Methods in Physics 3
PHYS 5150 Solid State Laboratory 2
PHYS 5200 Computational Physics 3
PHYS 5410 Statistical Mechanics 3
PHYS 5460 Introduction to Solid State Physics 3
PHYS 5490 Physics of Thin Films 3
PHYS 5510 Modern Optics 3
PHYS 6210 Theoretical Mechanics 3
PHYS 6250 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 3
PHYS 6260 Quantum Mechanics II 3
PHYS 6310 Electromagnetic Theory I 3
PHYS 6320 Electromagnetic Theory II 3
PHYS 6900 Theory of the Solid State I 3
PHYS 6910 Theory of the Solid State II 3
PHYS 6950 Special Topics in Physics 3
CS 5600 Numerical Computing 3
ECE 5020 Semiconductor Devices II 3
ECE 5030 Advanced Semiconductor Device Modeling 3
ECE 5050 Microelectronics IC Fabrication Laboratory 3
ECE 5070 Electronic Property of Materials 3
MAE 5410 Astrodynamics 3
MAE 5091 Space Environment 3
MATH 5450 OR
MATH 5620
Complex Variables OR
Complex Variables II

Note: Other courses may be substituted with the written approval of the graduate program advisor.


Graduate Physics Courses Schedule
Graduate Physics Courses Schedule Download

Please note that classes are offered every other year. You must plan accordingly to make sure that you take classes when they are available. The tables below show when we anticipate offering graduate courses.

The core courses refer to core classes for PhD students only (Masters students may choose from all classes). The core courses should follow the schedule below unless there are exceptional circumstances. Electives are often determined only one or two semesters in advance, depending on faculty availability and student demand. However, we will try to keep close to the schedule below. This is meant as a general guide only.

 Academic Year 2014-2015, 2016-2017, 2018-2019, etc.

Fall (even year) Spring (odd year)
Core: 5030 Mathematical Physics
Core: 6250 Intro to Quantum Mechanics 6260 Quantum Mechanics II
Elective: 5460 Intro to Solid State Physics 1 5150 Solid State Lab
Elective: 5490 Physics of Thin Films 5950 Special topics: Biophysics
Elective 5950 Spec Topics: Particle Physics 5510 Modern Optics

Academic Year 2015-2016, 2017-2018, etc.

Fall (odd year) Spring (even year)
Core: 6210 Theoretical Mechanics 5410 Statistical Mechanics
Core: 6310 Electromagnetic Theory I 6320 Electromagnetic Theory II
Elective: 5200 Computational Physics 5950 Special topics: Magnetism
Elective: 6950 Special topics: Nanotechnology 5480 Surface and Interface Physics

Other courses that are not on 2 year schedule but will be included as appropriate:
- 6900 Theory of the solid state 1
- 6910 Theory of the solid state 2
- 5950 & 6950 Special topics (Nonlinear Physics, Group Theory, etc - as available)

Information on this page is subject to change and is not official. Consult the UCCS Academic Catalog for official information.