MS/PhD in Physics With Astrophysics Concentration

As of the fall 2015, we offer a graduate degree in physics with a concentration in astrophysics. The requirement for graduating within the astrophysics concentration differs somewhat from the standard physics degree in the required core courses and preliminary exams.

  1. Course requirements for a Master of Science in Physics with a concentration in Astrophysics:
    Follows the same requirement for Plan I (non-thesis) and Plan II (thesis) M.S. Physics requirements for the number of credit hours. Under the Astrophysics concentration, the hours must include ASTR 536 and the choice of three of PHYC 466, 505, 511, 521 and ASTR 537. Details must be discussed with a graduate advisor each semester.

  2. Course requirement for a Ph.D. in Physics with a concentration in Astrophysics:
    Similar to the standard physics path, this requires a minimum of 48 semester hours of graduate work exclusive of dissertation. These hours must include:
    • ASTR 536 and 537
    • The choice of three from PHYC 466, 505, 511 and 521
    • Four electives of which the following are recommended: ASTR 526, 538, 539 and PHYC 581 when the topic is Cosmology or High Energy Astrophysics. Details must be discussed with a graduate advisor each semester.

  3. Preliminary exams M.S. astrophysics concentration:
    Under plan I the student must present a written thesis. Plan II offers a non-thesis option. Similar to the standard physics path, the Astrophysics Concentration will require the students under a non-thesis option to pass three preliminary exams at a 50% level, one within the subject of astrophysics, and the choice of two out of the four SM, EM, CM and QM preliminary exams.

  4. Preliminary exams Ph.D. astrophysics concentration:
    The Astrophysics Concentration will require the students to pass four preliminary exams, one within the subject of astrophysics, and the choice of three out of the four standard SM, EM, CM and QM preliminary exams.

  5. Classical mechanics and Quantum mechanics requirement:
    Students taking the Astrophysics concentration will exit with either a Ph.D. or a M.S. degree in Physics. To ensure that they graduate with a sufficient level of knowledge and exposure to the important physics topics of classical mechanics and quantum mechanics, we will require incoming students to take one semester of undergraduate courses in these subjects (PHYC 491 and/or PHYC 303) unless they have taken equivalent courses previously.