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Program and Graduation Requirements

New! M.S. in medical physics program beginning Fall 2016.

Accepted students should decide by the middle of their first semester on the program option that they wish to pursue. Plan A (thesis option) requires 30 semester hours of graduate credit, including six hours of thesis research. Plan-A students must also satisfy a language/research tool requirement by demonstrating a working knowledge of computer programming. Plan B (non-thesis option) requires 33 semester hours of graduate credit, at least 18 of which must be from 600/700-level courses.

Regardless of plan, all physics graduate students are required to include the following four courses in their programs: PHY 611, PHY 621, PHY 631, and PHY 641. These "core courses" are designed to provide all students with an advanced understanding of the concepts, principles, and methods in the fundamental areas of physics. In building around this core, students have considerable latitude in the choice of course work to complete the degree program. Full-time students must enroll in Graduate Seminar (PHY 791) each semester.

Plan A students must select a thesis advisor and then meet to develop a plan of study and discuss potential research projects. Plan-A students will be assigned a thesis committee by the Program Director. The committee consists of the advisor and at least two other physics faculty members. Additional members may be chosen from related disciplines, if appropriate. The thesis committee reviews the thesis proposal, reads and approves the final thesis, and administers the final oral defense.

Plan B students will work with the Program Director to draw up a plan of study. Plan-B students must also select a research advisor with whom they will complete a research project by taking PHY 797 (3 sem. hrs.), writing a research report, and making an oral presentation of their research.

With the approval of the student's advisor, Plan-A programs may include up to six semester hours of graduate credit (500/600/700 levels) in related areas other than Physics (such as Mathematics/Computer Science, Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, and Chemistry). Plan-B programs may include one or two minors in related areas totaling up to 15 semester hours of graduate credit (500/600/700 levels) approved by the student's advisor.

All degree candidates must pass a written Comprehensive Examination covering basic physics. The Exam is offered three times a year. A passing score on at least one part of this exam within the first year is required to remain in the program. More information about the Examination is available from the Program Director or the student's advisor.

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