3340 Physics

Programs Offered:

  • Master of Science in Physics 
    • Standard Program 
    • 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
Email (Administrative Coordinator): kwright14@gsu.edu
Email (Director of Graduate Studies): 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 Administrative Coordinator and/or Director of Graduate Studies at the addresses above. Applications should be submitted online through the Graduate Admissions system of the College of Arts and Sciences (cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/).

Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Physics (30)

  1. Students must either complete or exempt PHYS 6510, PHYS 6520, PHYS 6810, PHYS 7600 and PHYS 7700 (0-17 credit-hours). 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 30 hours to complete the degree requirements.
  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 must complete the following core courses:
  4. Students must complete additional graduate level courses appropriate to the focused research area (0-11 credit-hours). Course choices should be selected after discussion with the research adviser, and approval of the graduate director. No more than two hours of ASTR 6300/PHYS 6300 Teaching Physics/Astronomy, one hour of ASTR 6310/PHYS 6310 Teaching Physics/Astronomy Lab Practicum, and three hours of ASTR 8710/PHYS 8710 Research Topics or ASTR 8910/PHYS 8910 Directed Study can be applied to the M.S. degree requirements.
  5. Proficiency in an approved language or research skill. Contact the department for details.
  6. A general examination.
  7. Six hours of PHYS 8999 Thesis Research.
  8. A thesis.
  9. A final oral presentation directed primarily to the defense of the thesis

Master of Science in Physics, Concentration in Astronomy (30)

  1. Students must either complete or exempt PHYS 6510, 6520, 6810, 7600 and 7700 (0-17 credit-hours). 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 30 hours to complete the degree requirements.
  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 must complete the following six core courses (20):
    • ASTR 6100 Astronomical Techniques and Instrumentation (3)
    • ASTR 6200 Applications in Modern Astronomy (3)
    • [ASTR 8000 Stellar Atmospheres and Spectroscopy (4)
    • ASTR 8100 Stellar Structure and Evolution (4)
    • ASTR 8300 The Interstellar Medium (3)
    • ASTR 8400 Extragalactic Astronomy (3)
  4. Six credit hours of PHYS 8999 Thesis Research.
  5. Additional graduate level courses should be taken to complete the 30 hours degree requirements (0-4 credit-hours). No more than three hours total of ASTR 6300/PHYS 6300 Teaching Physics/Astronomy and ASTR 6310/PHYS 6310 Teaching Physics/Astronomy Lab Practicum, and no more than three hours of ASTR 8710/PHYS 8710 Research Topics or ASTR 8910/PHYS 8910 Directed Study can be applied to the M.S. degree requirements.
  6. Proficiency in an approved language or research skill. Contact the department for details.
  7. A general examination:
    • Students seeking an MS degree in Physics, concentration in Astronomy, must pass the first astronomy general examination, administered as a written examination covering the fundamentals of astronomy, within a year of entering the program.
  8. A thesis.
  9. A final oral presentation directed primarily to the defense of the thesis.

Master of Science in Physics, Non-Thesis Option (36)

  1. Students must either complete or exempt PHYS 6510, PHYS 6520, PHYS 6810, and PHYS 7600 (0-13 credit-hours). Exemption from these courses may be granted on the basis of testing or of having successfully completed similar courses elsewhere.
  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 must complete the following core courses (13):
  4. Students must complete at least 2 additional 8000-level physics (PHYS) courses (6-8 credit-hours), excluding PHYS 8710, PHYS 8910, or PHYS 8999. Courses should be selected in consultation with the graduate director.
  5. Additional graduate level courses should be taken to complete the 36 hours degree requirements (2-17 credit-hours). No more than three hours of PHYS 6300 Teaching Physics and PHYS 6310 Teaching Physics Lab Practicum, and no more than three hours of PHYS 8710 or PHYS 8910 can be applied to the M.S. degree requirements.
  6. Proficiency in an approved language or research skill. Contact the department for details.
  7. A general oral examination.
  8. A research paper or written report.

Master of Science in Physics, Concentration in Astronomy, Non-Thesis Option (36)

  1. Students must either complete or exempt PHYS 6510, PHYS 6520, PHYS 6810, and PHYS 7600 (0-13 credit-hours). Exemption from these courses may be granted on the basis of testing or of having successfully completed similar courses elsewhere.
  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 must complete the following six core courses (20):
    • ASTR 6100 Astronomical Techniques and Instrumentation (3)
    • ASTR 6200 Applications in Modern Astronomy (3)
    • ASTR 8000 Stellar Atmospheres and Spectroscopy (4)
    • ASTR 8100 Stellar Structure and Evolution (4)
    • ASTR 8300 The Interstellar Medium (3)
    • ASTR 8400 Extragalactic Astronomy (3)
  4. Students must complete at least 2 additional 8000-level astronomy (ASTR) or physics (PHYS) courses (6-8 credit-hours) excluding ASTR 8710/PHYS 8710, ASTR 8910/PHYS 8910, or PHYS 8999. Courses should be selected in consultation with the graduate director.
  5. Additional graduate level courses should be taken to complete the 36 hours degree requirements (0-10 credit-hours). No more than three hours total of ASTR 6300/PHYS 6300 Teaching Physics/Astronomy and ASTR 6310/PHYS 6310 Teaching Physics/Astronomy Lab Practicum, and no more than three hours of [ASTR 8710/PHYS 8710 or ASTR 8910/PHYS 8910 can be applied to the M.S. degree requirements.
  6. Proficiency in an approved language or research skill. Contact the department for details.
  7. A general examination:
    • Students seeking an MS degree in Physics, concentration in Astronomy, must pass the first astronomy general examination, administered as a written examination covering the fundamentals of astronomy, within a year of entering the program.
  8. A research paper or written report.

Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (71 hours beyond the baccalaureate degree)

  1. Students must either complete or exempt PHYS 6510, PHYS 6520, PHYS 6810, and PHYS 7600 (0-13 hours). 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 the following core courses (19):
  4. Students seeking a Ph.D. degree in physics must complete at least two graduate level courses appropriate to the focused research area (6-8 credit-hours). Course choices should be selected after discussion with the research adviser, and approval of the graduate director.
  5. Students seeking a Ph.D. degree in physics in any concentration must complete at least 12 additional credit-hours of 8000-level physics (PHYS) courses, excluding PHYS 8710, PHYS 8910, or PHYS 8999. Courses should be selected in consultation with the student’s research adviser and the graduate director. Alternatively, up to 9 credit-hours of 8000-level non-physics graduate courses in the area of concentration may be counted toward this requirement with approval of the graduate director.
  6. Students must complete PHYS 6300 Teaching Physics and PHYS 6310 Teaching Physics Lab Practicum for a total of 3 credit-hours.
  7. A minimum of 20 credit-hours of either PHYS 9999 or ASTR 9999 Doctoral Dissertation Research must be completed. No more than 20 credit-hours may count towards the degree.
  8. Additional graduate levels courses should be taken to complete the 71 hour degree requirements.
  9. Proficiency in an approved language or research skill. Contact the graduate director for details.
  10. Students seeking a Ph.D. degree in Physics must take the physics general examination, administered as a written examination, after taking the required core courses.
  11. 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.
  12. An oral presentation and discussion of the student’s proposed dissertation research.
  13. A dissertation.
  14. A final oral presentation and defense of the dissertation.

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