Jan 30, 2023  
Graduate Catalog 2009-10 
Graduate Catalog 2009-10 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Physics

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Advisor: Dean Halderson,
Room 1135, Everett Tower

The Department of Physics offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Arts in Physics. The objective of the program is to enable students to acquire the knowledge and technical skills needed in physics-related occupations and in graduate study at the doctoral level. Thirty semester hours of graduate credit are required. An additional requirement is either to pass the Doctoral Qualifying Examination at the master’s degree level or to complete a Master’s Thesis. Participation in research may occur in one of three areas:

  1. Theoretical physicsastrophysics, atomic physics, nuclear structure, nuclear reactions, or condensed matter.
  2. Experimental physicsastronomy, atomic physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, or materials analysis with accelerated ions. Campus facilities available for experimental research include a Van de Graaff accelerator and laboratory, and a low-temperature physics laboratory. Experimental research may also be conducted at facilities off campus.
  3. Computer and instrumentation physicssoftware and hardware development for computer data acquisition and analysis, or instrumentation development for physics research.
  4. Or any combination of these, or some interdisciplinary areas.

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 recommended to take the GRE General Test and Physics Subject Test. The departmental graduate 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. Fifteen hours of required courses in physics, namely:

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

2. Doctoral Qualifying Examination

Either successful completion of the Doctoral Qualifying Examination at the master’s degree level or satisfactory completion of:

3. Additional Hours

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

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 topic of the thesis may be based on one of the research areas noted above, or it may be based on some other area of physics chosen by the student and approved by the thesis committee. The committee may require an oral defense of the thesis before approving it for submission to The Graduate College.

Graduate students are required to attend the Physics Colloquium, 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 the Physics Public Lectures, a series of talks on topics of general interest in physics and related fields.

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