UMass Lowell scales back Fall 2020 plan to minimize students, employees on campus. View the plan for more info.
The Department of Physics and Applied Physics offers Master of Science degrees in Physics and in Radiological Sciences and Protection. The master’s program in Physics provides an opportunity for advanced study and research in most of the areas mentioned above, including a M.S. option in Optical Sciences. The master’s program in Radiological Sciences and Protection is described elsewhere in this catalog.
Graduate Credits and Course Requirements
At least 30 graduate credit hours are required. For the Thesis Option, at least 6 and at most 12 credits are to be M.S. research. For the Project Option, a maximum of 3 credits of M.S. Project will be allowed. Alternatively, the student may substitute satisfactory performance on the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination for completion of an M.S. Thesis or Project. For this option, a maximum of 6 research credits, and no more than 12 transfer credits, can be applied toward the M.S. degree. At most, 3 credits of Physics Colloquium and Seminar courses may be applied to the 30 credit requirements. Candidates for the Master of Science degree in Physics, except those in the Optical Sciences Concentration, are required to complete the following courses:
Electives may be chosen in consultation with the academic advisor and research supervisor from the list of Physics courses acceptable for graduate credit. Some graduate courses offered by other departments may also be acceptable for graduate credit in Physics, with the approval of the Physics Department. All students are expected to have completed as part of their undergraduate studies a two-semester course in electromagnetic theory (PHYS.5530/5540 or equivalent) and a two-semester course in introductory quantum mechanics (PHYS.535/536 or equivalent). These courses cannot be counted as one of the 4 Physics electives needed for the M.S. requirement.
Optical Sciences Option
This program is designed to provide the necessary preparation for students wishing to specialize in such rapidly expanding fields as electro-optical phenomena, lasers, applications of optics to telecommunications and information processing, fiber optics and other new optical materials and devices. This option is intended for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree program in Physics, Engineering, or other sciences. It is offered in cooperation with the Department of Electrical Engineering which offers an allied option in Opto-electronics. The Optical Sciences option emphasizes laboratory research providing the student valuable “hands-on” experience with optical systems and devices. Two course sequences are available (1) for students with a B.S. in Physics and (2) for students with a B.S. in Engineering or another scientific discipline.
Course requirements for the Optical Sciences Concentration:
For Students with a Physics B.S.
For Students with B.S. in other Sciences or Engineering*
Electives must be chosen from the following list of courses:
*Assuming adequate preparation in mathematics and electromagnetism.
All full-time master’s candidates are required to attend Physics Colloquium, PHYS.7010/7020, each semester.
All full-time master’s candidates are required to take PHYS.7110/7120 Graduate Seminar in Physics, in addition to the Colloquium each semester. After a student has presented a seminar in PHYS.7110/7120 (s)he may substitute one of the other seminars offered by the Department.
Thesis or Project
The thesis or project is to be based on research performed under the supervision of a member or adjunct member of the Physics Faculty. A student may do a thesis or project under the supervision of a faculty member in another department provided he has a member of the Physics Faculty as a co-supervisor. The student must submit to the Department, for its approval, nine copies of a typewritten proposal briefly describing the project or the problem to be solved for the thesis. This proposal must bear the written approval of the research supervisor. A thesis student must submit the proposal prior to or during the first semester of registration in M.S. Thesis Research in Physics. Students registered for Thesis must submit a brief progress report on the research to the Graduate Coordinator each semester unless a thesis is submitted. Students registered for M.S. Project Research in Physics must submit a final report and complete an oral defense of the Project before the end of the semester. An M.S. Project may not be carried over into a second semester. After completing the work, thesis students must submit three copies of a typewritten thesis to the Department. The student must then pass an oral examination, administered by a Thesis Committee of the Department appointed by the Graduate Coordinator. The examination will be based upon, but not necessarily restricted to, the subject of the thesis. A student who completes a project rather than a thesis must submit three copies of the final project report to the department and pass an oral examination based upon, but not necessarily restricted to, the subject of the project.