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Physics—MS, PhD

Prepare yourself for a career in academia, industry, or research with an MS or a PhD in Physics from Michigan Tech. Graduate students work side-by-side with research faculty throughout their course of study on some of the most vexing and exciting challenges facing physicists today.

We are seeking highly motivated, inquisitive students with undergraduate majors in physics, materials science, mathematics, or engineering, and a strong interest in research.

Cutting-Edge Research Opportunities . . .

The National Science Foundation ranks the Department of Physics at Michigan Tech in the top 25 percent of PhD expenditures nationally. From astronomy to molecular physics, research conducted by physics graduate students spans vast orders of magnitude in space, time, and energy. Current projects being conducted in the department include

  • Quantum modeling of nanoscale materials for electronics
  • Computational solid-state theory and materials science
  • Cloud physics
  • Chemical and biological sensors
  • Near-band-edge and near-resonance phenomena of magneto-photonic crystals

. . . In State-Of-The-Art Laboratory Facilities

The physics department boasts exceptional research labs and facilities. A recent $2.5 million renovation provided major upgrades in physics classroom technology, and a new $700,000 gift is enabling a major upgrade to physics research facilities. Physics hosts seven labs, ranging from computer labs with state-of-the-art software packages to atomic and molecular laser spectroscopy labs. Researchers also have access to other departments’ research labs, including scanning electron microscopy labs and other advanced characterization and fabrication facilities.

PhD Versus MS

The PhD program (regarded as the terminal degree within the field) consists of substantial graduate-level course work combined with cutting-edge research, which leads to a significant contribution to the physics field through publications in peer-reviewed journals. Students require, on average, five years to complete the PhD requirements. Additionally, an MS in Physics may be obtained while in pursuit of the PhD.

Both the MS and PhD programs build on a foundational set of six core courses plus additional electives. In the MS program, students may choose from three degree plans: a research thesis, a report on an independent study project, or course work only. Well-prepared students will need a minimum of 12 months to complete their MS degree requirements.