Apr 17, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, M.S.

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The graduate plan in Physics leads to the master of science ( ) degree at UHCL. The goal of this program is to prepare students for doctoral-level work and advanced research in physics and astronomy. This program also serves to expand the knowledge base of practicing engineers. Students in this program gain better problem-solving abilities as well as increased knowledge of several aspects of physics and astronomy. The physics program provides students with a deeper understanding of the essential science used in many of the engineering disciplines and in the space industry.

Degree Requirements

Physics Basic Preparation

Applicants for candidacy should have a Bachelor of Science degree in one of the physical sciences, mathematics or engineering disciplines. Applicants with other degrees may also apply if they meet the requirements listed below. Equivalent courses or appropriate substitutions will be determined in consultation with a faculty adviser. If background deficiencies exist, students may be required to take courses that will not apply toward the graduate degree.

Students should take the following courses (or equivalents) in preparation for the program. (Note: PHYS 3311  and PHYS 3312  satisfy many of these requirements):

  • University Physics I and II with Laboratory
  • Modern Physics with Laboratory
  • Calculus I, II and III
  • Differential Equations
  • Complex Variables
  • Linear Algebra
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Intermediate Electromagnetism
  • Intermediate Mechanics
  • Quantum Theory
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Degree Requirements

Physics Core Requirements

The following 24 hours of graduate physics courses are required for both the thesis and extended coursework options.

Additional Information

PHYS 5632 , PHYS 5612 : (Not required for students completing the sub-plan in technical management

Physics Advanced Electives

Advanced SCE courses that meet the needs of students’ professional goals may be selected in consultation with a faculty adviser.

Physics Thesis Option

Under the thesis option, a minimum of 24 hours of formal coursework must be completed. In addition, students must complete PHYS 6837  and a minimum of six hours of PHYS 6939 , Master’s Thesis Research. A maximum of 12 hours of PHYS 6939  can be applied toward graduation requirements. Remaining coursework for a total of 36 hours may come from additional formal courses.

Physics Non-Thesis Option

Under the non-thesis option, a minimum of 30 hours of formal coursework must be completed. In addition, students must choose a faculty research adviser and complete six hours of independent research and seminar (PHYS 5739  or PHYS 6837 , and PHYS 6838 ). Students completing the specialization in Technical Management should take either PHYS 5739  or PHYS 6837 .

Specialization Requirements

Technical Management Specialization

A good technical manager needs both an advanced broad-based technical background and insight into how to lead a team of people from different technical disciplines. Because physics is the scientific basis of all engineering, it can satisfy much of the broad-based technical requirement for a degree training technical managers. The physics core is complemented by a combination of systems engineering, engineering management and management courses in order to create a plan that provides both the technical background and the leadership training. This results in a unique new approach to training technical managers. Please note that students in this specialization are not required to take PHYS 5632 /PHYS 5612 . Students enrolled in the Technical Management Specialization should choose 4 courses from those shown below.

Admission Requirements

Admission Deadline

Standard graduate admission deadline


A standard university application is required.


3.0 GPA

GRE Total Score of 290 (140 Verbal + 150 Quantitative)

GRE Essay of 3.5

GRE waived for an undergraduate GPA above 3.2, or if the applicant has another graduate degree (master’s degree or higher).

Additional Requirements - Undergraduate degree in physical sciences discipline, mathematics and/or engineering; Other degrees may apply if the coursework meets the preparation requirements in the catalog.

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