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    Western Michigan University
  Dec 13, 2017
Graduate Catalog 2017-18

Master of Arts in Physics

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Advisor: Paul Pancella
Room 2219 Everett Tower

The Department of Physics offers a program leading to the Master of Arts in Physics. The objective of the program is to enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed in physics-related occupations in industry, community college teaching, or entry into Ph.D. programs in science education. Students who intend to eventually obtain a Ph.D. degree in physics should enroll directly into the Ph.D. program. Thirty hours of graduate credit are required. These credits shall include PHYS 6150, PHYS 6220, PHYS 6300, and PHYS 6620. An additional requirement is a grade point average of 3.00 or higher in the above four required courses, or to complete a Master’s Thesis.

Admission Requirements

Students entering this program are expected to have acquired a bachelor’s degree in physics or at least an equivalent amount of experience and training (including training in mathematics at the appropriate level). Prospective students are required to take the Graduate Record Exam General Test and submit their scores to WMU. Preference in admission is given to students who have taken and earned a good score on the GRE physics subject test. The department graduate programs advisor will provide assistance to students seeking admission to this program and will recommend ways of eliminating any deficiencies in course work.

Program Requirements

The 30 semester hours of graduate credit must include the following:

1. Eighteen hours of required courses in physics, namely:

Substitutions for these courses may be made only with the approval of the graduate advisor.

2. Minimum grade point average in four core courses or thesis option:

Either successful completion of PHYS 6150, PHYS 6220, PHYS 6300, and PHYS 6620 with a grade point average of 3.00 or higher, or satisfactory completion of 6 credit hours in:


The thesis may be either theoretical or experimental in nature and is accomplished under the guidance of a committee of the graduate faculty in Physics. The committee may require an oral defense of the thesis before approving it for submission to The Graduate College.

3. Additional Hours

Additional hours from Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, or other departments to be chosen with the consent of the graduate advisor.

Graduate students are required to attend the physics colloquia, which constitutes a program for graduate students and physics faculty, presented by members of the WMU physics faculty and visitors from other institutions on topics related to their research specialties. Graduate students are also expected to attend public lectures sponsored by the Department of Physics.

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