3340 Physics

Programs Offered:

  • Master of Science in PhysicsĀ 
    • Standard ProgramĀ 
    • Concentration in Astronomy
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Physics
    • Concentration in Atomic Physics
    • Concentration in Biophysics
    • Concentration in Molecular Physics
    • Concentration in Nuclear Physics
    • Concentration in Condensed Matter Physics
    • Concentration in Astrophysics
    • Concentration in Applied Physics

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Georgia State University
Room 605, 25 Park Place
Atlanta, Georgia 30302-4106
404-413-6033
phy-astr.gsu.edu
E-mail (Administrative Coordinator): dwendler1@gsu.edu
E-mail: xhe@gsu.edu

D. Michael Crenshaw, Chair
Xiaochun He, Director of Graduate Studies, Physics

The Department of Physics and Astronomy works closely with graduate students on theoretical and experimental research in the following areas: atomic physics, biophysics, molecular physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, astronomy, and astrophysics.

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of Physics and Astronomy by visiting the departmental website or by contacting the admissions secretary and/or Director of Graduate Studies at the addresses above. Applications can be downloaded from the departmental and college websites, filled out and mailed. However, online applications (link available both on the departmental and college websites) are encouraged.

Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Physics (30 hours)
  1. Twenty-four hours of graduate coursework, which must include the following 13 hours of 8000-level courses:
    • PHYS 8010 Advanced Classical Mechanics (4)
    • PHYS 8100 Electromagnetic Theory I (3)
    • PHYS 8110 Electromagnetic Theory II (3)
    • PHYS 8210 Quantum Mechanics I (3)
    • Other course requirements may apply for Biophysics and Applied Physics options. Contact the relevant graduate director for details.
  2. No more than one hour of ASTR 6300/PHYS 6300 and one hour of ASTR 6310/PHYS 6310 can be applied to the M.S. degree requirements.
  3. Proficiency in a foreign language or in an approved research skill. Contact the department for details.
  4. A general examination.
  5. Six hours of PHYS 8999 Thesis Research.
  6. A thesis.
  7. A thesis defense.
Master of Science in Physics, Concentration in Astronomy (30 hours)
  1. Twenty-four hours of graduate coursework, which must include:
  2. Proficiency in a foreign language or in an approved research skill. Contact the department for details.
  3. A general examination.
  4. Six hours of PHYS 8999 Thesis Research.
  5. A thesis.
  6. A thesis defense.
Master of Science in Physics, Non-Thesis Option (36 hours)
  1. Students pursuing a non-thesis M.S. with a concentration in Physics must complete all four of the following core courses. Students pursuing a non-thesis M.S. with a concentration in Astronomy must complete Astr 6000 and at least two of the following four core courses:
  2. No more than one hour of ASTR 6300/PHYS 6300 and one hour of ASTR 6310/PHYS 6310 can be applied to the M.S. degree requirements.
  3. Proficiency in a foreign language or in an approved research skill. Contact the department for details.
  4. A general examination.
  5. A research paper.
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (71 hours beyond the baccalaureate degree)
  1. Students must either complete or exempt Phys 6510, 6520, 6810 and 7600. Exemption from these courses may be granted on the basis of testing or of having successfully completed similar courses elsewhere. Students not exempting at least two courses must take more than the 71 minimum hours required for the degree.
  2. Students must have competence in the following areas of mathematics: matrix algebra, vector and tensor analysis, partial differential equations, Fourier series and boundary value problems, and complex variables.
  3. Students seeking a Ph.D. degree in Physics must complete at least 22 hours of core courses (biophysics or applied physics options may replace some of the core courses with other relevant courses) including:
    • PHYS 8010 Advanced Classical Mechanics (4)
    • PHYS 8100 Electromagnetic Theory I (3)
    • PHYS 8110 Electromagnetic Theory II (3)
    • PHYS 8210 Quantum Mechanics I (3)
    • PHYS 8310 Statistical Mechanics (3)
    • And two of the following courses with a minimum of six credits. Course choices should be selected after discussion with the research adviser, and approval of the graduate director. Other options may be possible. (Applied Physics options may replace some of the above core courses with other relevant courses). See graduate director for details.
    • Students seeking a Ph.D. degree in physics in any concentration other than Biophysics must complete:
      • PHYS 8220 Quantum Mechanics II (3)
      • At least 12 additional hours of 8000-level physics courses. No more than three hours of PHYS 8910 (Directed Study) can count towards the degree. Courses should be selected in consultation with the student’s research adviser and the graduate director.
    • Students seeking a Ph.D. degree in Physics with concentration in Biophysics must complete 15 additional hours of 8000 level courses, of which 9 hours must be in the area of concentration. The remaining hours may be in the area of concentration or in physics. No more than three hours of directed study (PHYS 8910) can count towards the degree. Courses should be selected in consultation with the student’s research adviser and the graduate director.
  4. Satisfactory completion of one hour of PHYS 6300 or ASTR 6300 (Teaching Physics/Astronomy) and two hours of PHYS 6310 or ASTR 6310 (Teaching Physics/Astronomy Lab Practicum).
  5. A minimum of 20 hours of either PHYS 9999 or ASTR 9999 (Doctoral Dissertation Research) must be completed; only 21 counts towards the 71 hours for the Ph.D. Only fifteen hours of PHYS 9999 counts towards the 71 hours for the students in Biophysics concentration. The Applied Physics option will have more specific requirements. Contact the research adviser/graduate director for details.
  6. Proficiency in a foreign language or in an approved research skill. (Contact the department for details.)
  7. Students seeking a Ph.D. degree in Physics must take the physics general examination, administered as a written examination, after taking Phys 8210, 8010, 8100, and either ASTR 6000 or PHYS 8310, CHEM 6190. The qualifying exam for the graduate program in Physics with a concentration in Astrophysics or Biophysics will include three out of four exams standard for the Physics program, and will replace the fourth area examination with one in Astrophysics or Biophysics as appropriate. This replacement needs to be approved in advance by the student’s adviser and the Graduate Director of the program.
  8. Students pursuing the Ph.D. degree are strongly urged to satisfy the requirements for the M.S. (non-thesis option) as soon as possible after entering the program. See the appropriate director of graduate studies for details.
  9. An oral presentation discussing the student’s proposed dissertation research.
  10. A dissertation.
  11. An oral examination on the completed dissertation.

Prior to registration each semester, students must be advised by either the chair of the department or the appropriate director of graduate studies.