Nov 28, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate 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:

A written thesis or project in computational physics approved by the student’s thesis or project committee consisting of a thesis or project 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 or project research. 

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

Culminating Activity

The required culminating experience is a research-based thesis or project 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 or project that is followed by a public oral defense.