2021-2022 Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, MSc

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Admission Requirements

Admission requirements into the MSc program are consistent with those specified by the UCCS Graduate School. See the Physics graduate program web page at https://www.uccs.edu/physics/future_students/masters_program. Admission requirements of applicants are as follows:

  • Submit two complete official transcripts of all previous graduate and undergraduate work.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation.
  • Submit a 1-2 page goal statement.
  • Fill out and submit a graduate application through UCCS Admissions online form (http://www.uccs.edu/graduateschool/prospective-students/admissions.html).
  • Deadlines: July 1 for fall semester, December 1 for spring semester, May 1st for summer semester.

Admission Criteria

  • Applicants with a BA or BS in physics or in a related area, such as chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering or mathematics, are natural candidates for graduate study in physics.
  • A BS or BA degree from a college or university of recognized standing, or work equivalent to that required for such a degree and equivalent to the degree given at this university.
  • Considerable course work in physics.
  • Sufficient mathematical background, i.e. at least two semesters of mathematics beyond the normal calculus sequence, such as differential equations and mathematical methods of physics.
  • Promise of ability to pursue advanced study and research.
  • Undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Students with an undergraduate grade point average of less than 3.0 but at or above 2.5, or students with an inadequate background, may be allowed into the program provisionally. This decision would be made by the UCCS Physics Graduate Student Committee. Provisional status would subsequently be removed and the student would be given regular standing after completion of nine hours of graduate courses with a 3.0 average (or better).

Additional requirements for some students

  • Students with international transcripts must take the Physics GRE exam. A minimum score for regular admission is in the range of 520-550.
  • Applicants for whom English is a second language, must complete the TOEFL exam with a minimum score of 560 (paper-based exam) or 83 (internet-based exam) or 220 (internet-based exam). A band score of 6.5 on the IELTS is also acceptable. If the student has successfully completed one year of full-time academic study at a U.S. institution, this requirement can be waived. An oral interview may also be required, as the department sees fit.
  • Promising students who do not meet all of the requirements may be considered as provisional applicants.

Transfer Student Requirement

Students who are transferring from other physics graduate programs must meet the minimum standards outlined above and have a 3.0 average (or better) in all graduate work done previously. Full credit, up to nine hours (normally one semester of full-time course work), will be given for course work done previously, assuming the prior work was done at accredited institutions with approved programs. Course equivalency will be decided by the UCCS Physics Graduate Student Committee after interviewing the student and comparing textbooks, class notes, or any other helpful documentation.

Degree Requirements

  • 30 credit hours of coursework.
  • Regular degree students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average each semester or summer term for all courses taken, whether or not they are to be applied toward the advanced degree intended. Students who fail to maintain this standard of performance will be subject to suspension from the Graduate School.
  • The Master’s Comprehensive Exam is an exit oral exam that must be passed by all students. Students electing the thesis option may substitute an oral defense of their thesis. Students in the non-thesis option are required to write a short (15 page, double-spaced) typed paper summarizing either some original research or summarizing a research topic in current physics. The paper should be at a graduate physics level. The exam consists of a 30-40 minute presentation of the paper with questions on the topic from the faculty. More details can be found in the UCCS Physics Master handbook.
  • The committees for exit exams will consist of three members of the graduate faculty, one of whom is the student’s advisor. The other two members will typically be from the physics department, but one may be selected from a related discipline such as electrical engineering, mathematics, computer science or chemistry. The student’s physics faculty adviser is in charge of selecting the committee.

Degree Options

Thesis and Non-Thesis Options

Thesis: the student completes 30 credit hours, 6 of which are thesis work.

Non-thesis: the student completes 30 credit hours of approved courses.

Concentration areas: In order to design a more specialized degree, students may concentrate their elective courses in areas outside of physics. Concentration areas could include space studies, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, geography, computer science, applied mathematics or other graduate disciplines. These concentration areas might be appropriate for students who have very well-defined career objectives which require a combination of physics with another discipline. Students should consult with the Physics graduate program advisor to establish a course sequence for the MSc degree.

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