Jul 23, 2024  
2023-2024 General Catalog 
2023-2024 General Catalog

Physics, MS

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The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Department of Physics, in the College of Science and Technology, offers a program of study leading to a Master of Science in Physics degree. This program is designed to provide a solid foundation in physics course work (beyond the baccalaureate level) and research essential for pursuing doctoral studies in physics or related academic areas. The successful student will be prepared to enter the work force, or enter a high quality Ph.D. program. The student may choose either a thesis or non-thesis program leading to the M.S. in Physics degree.

The Department has 15 faculty members committed to excellence in research. The faculty conducts experimental research in the areas of:

  • Axion and astrophysical particle detection
  • Laser ablation
  • Laser interactions with matter
  • Nanomaterial growth and properties
  • Plasma physics and theoretical research
  • Atomic and molecular scattering
  • Electronic and structural properties of carbon nanomaterials
  • Numerical algorithms and optimization methods
  • Quantum theory on manifolds

Admission to the Master of Science program is in conformity with the uniform requirements established by the School of Graduate Studies and Research as described in other sections of this catalog. These include:

  1. A 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) cumulative grade point average covering the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate preparation,
  2. The possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education;
  3. Acceptance of undergraduate seniors into the Master of Science program is conditional upon their completion of all requirements for the baccalaureate degree before commencement of graduate studies.
  4. Foreign students whose native language is not English, must make a score of at least 550 on the TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language).

In addition, other factors such as motivation, attitude, and potential for successful graduate work will be considered. These factors will be judged from at least two letters of recommendation from undergraduate physics instructors and/or personal interviews. Conditional acceptance into the graduate program may be granted as a result of these letters or interview when requirement 2 is not met. However, a student may not remain in the program for more than one semester with a conditional acceptance.

Academic Requirements

The requirements consist of a set of core requirements and then separate requirements for the thesis and non-thesis programs:

Core Requirements


These courses must be completed with at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA).

2. Passing the departmental proficiency examination.

This exam consists of a written examination given twice per year covering the content of an undergraduate program in physics. All first year graduate students must pass the exam by end of their second year.

3. Pass an oral examination

After completion of the requirements for a thesis or non-thesis program, the degree candidate shall be required to pass an oral examination on graduate level physics core course work. The exam shall be set by the candidate’s graduate committee which shall consist of four physics faculty members. If the student has completed a thesis, one committee member will be the candidate’s thesis advisor and the exam will also include a defense of the thesis. If the candidate is not a thesis student, the exam may also cover additional course work. The additional courses to be covered will be communicated by the committee to the student at least one month prior to the examination.

4. Every candidate is required to teach at least one undergraduate laboratory for one semester

  • PHY 6110r

Additional Non-Thesis Requirements

  1. In addition to the 24 semester hours of core curriculum, 12 semester hours must be taken from Physics courses numbered 5000 and above with at least 9 taken on a letter grade basis.

Additional Thesis Requirements

  1. In addition to the 24 semester hours of core curriculum, 9 semester hours must be taken from physics courses numbered 5000 and above with at least 6 semester hours taken on a letter grade basis.
  2. The candidate must submit a thesis which is accepted by the thesis advisor and the thesis committee. Acceptance is given by way of signature.
  3. No more than 3 semester hours of PHY 6918  credit and 3 semester hours of PHY 6110  credit may be counted toward the M.S. degree.
  4. At least 3 semester hours of thesis credit (PHY 5971r) must be passed.

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