Master of Science in Physics

Thank you for considering Wichita State University for graduate study in physics.


Program Overview

The physics group in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics helps students prepare for doctoral work in physics or for jobs in STEM related jobs in research and industry.
The MS degree program is flexible so students can design their studies to meet their educational or career goals. Students may combine the study of physics with interest in such fields as astronomy, engineering, geology, computer science, mathematics and education.

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Admission Requirements

Admission to the MS program in physics requires the completion of 24 hours of undergraduate physics, including 3 semester hours of mechanics and 3 semester hours of electricity and magnetism, and meeting the Graduate School admission requirements.

The GRE Subject test in Physics is recommended, but not required, for admission to the program. Students whose native language is not English must submit an official, acceptable TOEFL score.
For the internet based test, a TOEFL score of 79 or above is acceptable.

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Research Oppurtunities

Students entering graduate studies in Physics have access to many cutting edge research opportunities that will prepare them for further graduate study, or STEM careers in related fields.

  • Experimental High Energy Particle Physics: WSU has a strong experimental particle physics group consisting of Prof. Solomey, Assoc. Prof. Meyer, and Assistant Prof. Muether. This group is working on the NOvA Neutrino experiment, the leading US HEP experiment, and has access to data that would support analyses for many graduate students at both the Masters and PhD level. Students following this course of research have been successful in attaining academic position and data science positions in industry. A major focus on the research coming out of this group revolves around using large amounts of computing recourses to analyses large complicated data set (i.e., big data type problems).
  • Theoretical High Energy Particle Physics: Prof. Terrance Figy is leading an active research program focused on Higgs boson collider phenomenology.
  • Condensed Matter: Currently led by Hussein Hamdeh, WSU condensed matter physics focuses on magnetic materials and nano particles and has produced many past physics theses, joint projects with Material Engineering, and consistent external funding. Student completing this course of study would be well suited to enter a PhD program in Solid State physics or Material Science/Engineering, or pursue engineering careers.
  • Quantum Information Theory: Prof. Behrman is studying quantum computing and information theory. This line of research should produce many varied research topics and would have natural ties to computer science. Student pursuing this research would be prepared for continuation in a related PhD program or a career in information technology and theory.
  • Computational Astrophysics: Prof. Ferguson’s research in computational astrophysics would provide student an opportunity to learn how to model complicated system. These students would be prepared for continues graduate study or STEM related careers where modeling is crucial.

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Graduate Faculty


Associate Professors:

Assistant Professors:

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Degree Requirements

The MS degree in physics requires the successful completion of a Plan of Study approved by the student’s advisor and the department chairperson. Two options are available: a 36-hour non-thesis program and a 30-hour program that includes a research project written as a thesis.
Students in either option must take at least 12 hours in courses numbered 800 or above. The department recommends the each Plan of Study include PHYS 821, Classical Mechanics; PHYS 831, Electricity and Magnetism; PHYS 871, Statistical Mechanics; and PHYS 811, Quantum Mechanics. A typical Plan of Study may consist of up to 12 hours of course work taken outside the department.

Sample Plan of Study

  First Semester Second Semester
Year 1 PHYS 821 Classical Mech.
+ 2 electives
Possible Electives:
PHYS 741 Theoretical Physics
MATH 751 Numerical Linear Algebra
MATH 757 PDEs for Engineering
PHYS 816 Lab
ME667 Mech. Materials I
PHYS 831 E&M
+ 2 electives
Possible Electives:
PHYS 8XX Elective
MATH 852 Num. PDEs
MATH 758 Comp. Analysis
MATH 848 Calc. Var
ME 767 X-Ray Diffraction
ME 867 Mech Materials II
Year 2 PHYS 811 Quantum Mech.
+ 2 electives
Possible Electives:
PHYS 8XX Elective
STAT 763 Appl. Reg. Ana.
PHYS 871 Stat Mech.
+ 2 electives
Possible Electives:
PHYS 8XX Elective
STAT 875 Design of Experiment

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Support and Assistantships

Teaching assistantships are available which offer a full tuition waiver and a living stipend. To apply for assistantship please complete the assistant Assistantship Application Form and return it to our Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Mathew Muether. Letter of recommendation may also be emailed from the letter writer to our graduate coordinator.

Research assistantship may also be available. Please inquire for additional information.

To be considered for a teaching assistantship, applicants must have received a score of 23 or higher on the speaking portion of the TOEFL(IBT), or a score of 50 or above on the SPEAK test, or a minimum score of 7.0 on the Speaking portion of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). It is impossible for us to waive this requirement or substitute another test of English speaking ability.

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