The course credit requirements for the Physics Master's Degree programs are as follows:
Plan A: A total of 30 credits are required, with 6-15 as thesis research and the remaining credits coming from course work. A minimum of 4 (out of 10) core PhD courses must be taken. The balance of course work must be comprised of graduate-level courses.
Plan B: A total of 30 credits are required, with 2-3 (as thesis research) for writing the Plan B report and the remaining credits coming from course work. A minimum of 5 (out of 10) core PhD courses must be taken. The balance of course work must comprise graduate-level courses.
Each student is required to attend Physics Colloquium for four consecutive semesters, beginning with the first semester after matriculation. The student must also submit and orally defend either a thesis (Plan A) or a research report (Plan B) at the discretion of the student's supervisory committee.
Master of Science (Upper Atmospheric Physics Specialization)
The department offers a specialization in Upper Atmospheric Physics for MS students. This degree is a Plan A MS. In consultation with his or her advisor, the student selects a minimum of 18 credits of classwork from the following courses:
Note: This specialization was created for the Air Force and may not be available for all students.
Three to six additional credits may be chosen from courses in electrical engineering, computer science, mathematics, and biometeorology. The student may gain from 6 to 12 credits by research, to be written up as a thesis that must be defended orally.