2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
    Sep 30, 2023  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, BA/MS


This degree involves a combination of graduate courses and a research thesis. Departmental research is focused in experimental and theoretical studies of condensed matter physics including STM imaging, low­-dimensional metals, organic superconductivity, strongly-correlated quantum many-body systems, computational physics, biological physics, granular materials and soft matter, complex ecosystems, and energy technology.

This program is designed for students wishing to advance their knowledge in physics beyond the undergraduate level, and enables students to develop analytical, computational, and experimental skills in preparation for careers in physics, engineering, industry, finance, and education. Prior to the formal application, students are expected to identify a faculty member who is willing to serve as their research advisor.



Departmental Eligibility Requirements

The MS degree in physics is available to physics majors. Students interested in the Accelerated Degree Program in Physics should contact the undergraduate student advisor as early as possible in their undergraduate careers. To qualify, a student must have an average GPA of 3.2, or higher, for courses taken toward the physics major.

Students are required to meet with the Physics Accelerated Degree Program advisor as a formal part of the admissions process. This meeting is intended to assist prospective students in assessing the appropriateness of the degree to their professional aspirations. The student applies to the MS program by completing the Online Application no later than May 1 of their junior year. Departmental decisions will be made by the end of March of the senior year. Please note that application deadlines differ for students who are graduating off cycle (either a semester early or late) or who have advanced standing; such students should contact Graduate Admissions for corresponding alternate dates.


Program of Study

The Physics ADP master’s degree program requires 10 course units. Students must also complete a written thesis, based on original research.  Students are expected to pass (with a grade B- or better) 4 core graduate courses which can be chosen among PHYS 301, PHYS 302, PHYS 305, PHYS 306, PHYS 309, PHYS 310, PHYS 319, PHYS 351, and PHYS 367. Students are also expected to pass at least 5 thesis units. The remaining unit can be chosen among the core graduate courses listed above, PHYS 303 (which can only be taken during the senior year) or a thesis unit. Students are expected to take 2 core graduate courses (or 1 core graduate course and PHYS 303) during their senior year. Students are also expected to begin the research for their thesis no later than the fall of their senior year.

Students conduct research working in close collaboration with faculty advisors and with doctoral students. Students should plan to work full time on their research both the summer before and the summer after their 5th year. On completion of the research, there is an oral defense of the research thesis.

After the defense is passed and revisions required by the Advisory Committee have been made, the thesis is submitted to the thesis advisor for final approval. Information regarding formatting and submitting the thesis to the Graduate School is located at www.clarku.edu/­student-­resources.

Students must register as a non­resident if they do not complete the requirements in time for August degree conferral. Students have up to one year of non­residency status (fall and spring) to complete all requirements for the master’s degree.


Student pay a one-time program fee of $1,000 in the first semester of graduate study. Students also pay a $20 activity fee in the fall and spring semesters as well as a one-time enrollment fee of $100. Students are responsible for paying for housing, food, books, and other personal items.

Students in the Accelerated Degree Program are allowed one year of non-resident status after the fifth year presumably to complete research and the master’s thesis. Please note there is a $200 fee associated with the non-residency status registration. There is $500 lab fee, in addition to the non-resident fee for students conducting research in the labs.

There is a mandatory fee of $25 for ProQuest to provide the University with a copy of the thesis to be cataloged in Goddard Library.

Program Adviser

Students are required to meet with the designated degree adviser and have them sign the Accelerated Degree Program Adviser Form. The signed form confirms that the student and program adviser have discussed the requirements of the program. This form is also available on the Graduate Admissions website.

The Accelerated Degree Program adviser can be contacted through the Physics Department Office:

Barbara Capogrosso Sansone, Program Adviser
Room BP-230
Math/Physics Building

Your academic adviser will be the faculty person with whom you are conducting your research.

Any students considering applying to the Accelerated Degree Program should read and understand the Accelerated Degree Program Policies and Procedures  .