Feb 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, Computational Physics Option, M.S.


The Option in Computational Physics provides a master’s degree program that emphasizes the use of computers to solve problems in physics. It is primarily intended for students who engage in theoretical and applied physics and aims at developing their problem-solving skills with a computer. The option is for graduate students who enter PhD programs in all fields of physics or the workforce in the sciences and engineering.

Admission Requirements

  1. A bachelor’s degree with a major in physics; or

  2. A bachelor’s degree with at least 24 units of upper division physics. Students deficient in undergraduate preparation must take courses to remove these deficiencies without credit toward the degree at the discretion of the graduate advisor.

Course Requirements


Take 6 units of the following:


  • (1-6 units)

  • A written thesis in computational physics approved by the student’s thesis committee consisting of a thesis chair (a Physics & Astronomy faculty member) and at least two more members, one of which must be a member of the Department.


    An oral defense of the thesis research.


    (Students must be advanced to candidacy before enrolling in PHYS 698)

Culminating Activity


The required culminating experience is a research-based thesis in computational physics. The research is performed in one of the theoretical computational physics groups of the department led by tenure and tenure track faculty members; about half of the faculty in the department have an expertise in computational physics. Students engage in a research project that aims at solving a physics problem and mainly uses the computer as a tool to achieve this goal. The completed research work culminates in the writing of a thesis that is followed by a public oral defense.