The M.S. degree requires 30 graduate credits. Students may elect to complete a Master's thesis (Plan A) or additional coursework and one or more projects (Plan B). All students take 11 credits in a common core of courses (including Phys 5501, 5511, 5521 and 2 credits in Phys 5090), 3 credits in one of our "Methods Courses" (Phys 5052 or 5053 or 5061) and 6 credits in a minor or related fields. Plan A requires 10 thesis credits; Plan B requires one or more projects requiring at least 120 hours of combined effort, preparation of a written report for each project, and 10 additional credits in physics course work. These courses may include 4xxx courses, if appropriate and if approved for graduate credit; for distinctly interdisciplinary programs, the courses may be outside physics. In all cases, the overall plan of study and selection of elective courses must form a coherent program and be approved by the director of graduate studies.
Plan A and B common requirements:
- 11 credits physics core
- A "methods" course
Phys 5052 Computational Methods in Physics (3 cr)
Phys 5053 Data Analysis Methods in Physics (3 cr)
Phys 5061 Experimental Methods (3 cr)
Final oral exam that includes a presentation of thesis/project work at a departmental colloquium, followed by examination by the committee selected for the student.
Plan A additional requirements:
Thesis, including 10 cr of Phys 8777.
Plan B additional requirements:
10 credits of additional graduate course work in physics. The courses used to meet the additional 10 credit requirement may include 4000-level courses if appropriate and approved for graduate credit. For distinctly interdisciplinary programs, some of these courses may be drawn from related fields outside physics. The overall plan of study and selection of specific elective courses must form a cohesive program and be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and the advisor.
One or more Plan B projects requiring a minimum of 120 hours of total effort, and preparation of a written report for each project.
These are the minimum requirements. Students are able to take more methods courses and electives than the minimum, in fact an elective in your specialty or a second methods course to support your plan A masters degree might be a good idea. Note: The information presented here is as accurate as possible. However, the UMD Catalog should be reviewed before finalizing a degree program in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies in Physics and the research project or thesis advisor.
Maintaining good standing in the program involves additional rules about minimum grades and GPA for required courses, and are described in the policy here. Students who, after their first year, are in danger of not meeting the 2.8 GPA and no D/F grades may not be offered a second year.