Master of Science in Physics Program By University of Oregon |Top Universities

Master of Science in Physics

Master of Science in Physics

  • QS World University Rankings
    651-700
Physics, the most basic of the natural sciences, is concerned with the discovery and development of the laws that describe our physical universe. This endeavor serves, also, to directly benefit humankind: integrated circuits found in computers, mobile phones, and solar cells, lasers in DVD players and computer mice, and the Internet itself were developed from fundamental physics discoveries. Current research areas include astronomy and astrophysics, biophysics, condensed matter physics, elementary particle physics, and optical physics. The interdisciplinary Institute of Theoretical Science houses theoretical research in some of the above areas as well as in areas of overlap between chemistry and physics. The Center for High Energy Physics conducts research in particle physics, much of it in laboratories outside Oregon. The Materials Science Institute and the Oregon Center for Optics provide facilities, support, and research guidance for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the interdisciplinary application of concepts and techniques from both physics and chemistry to understanding physical systems. Cooperative programs of study are possible in molecular biology through the Institute of Molecular Biology. Typically this degree is based on course work and the master’s final examination. Candidates must either pass the combined graduate exam at the master’s level or submit a written thesis or take a program of specialized courses. A combined graduate exam covering the four core subject areas—mechanics; electricity, magnetism, and optics; modern physics and quantum mechanics; and thermal and statistical physics is used for both the master’s and doctoral qualifying examinations. For the master’s exam, a separate total score is obtained by removing, in each core area, the student’s problem with the lowest score. Material covered by the combined exam is primarily at the level of advanced undergraduate physics, but as much as one-third of the exam tests core graduate-level material.