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Graduate Studies

Master of Science

Welcome to the Physics Graduate Program website and thank you for your interest in our Master of Science degree!  The UMass Dartmouth M.S. Physics program is one of the largest in the US, as determined by the American Physical Society.

We are always looking for inquisitive and enthusiastic individuals as full-time and part-time students who plan to pursue Physics in aid to professional careers in research, teaching, or in applied areas of industrial research and development.

Our program's part-time option is geared toward students who are already professionally active but wish to enhance their knowledge base.

Our MS program is designed to advance students' understanding of modern and classical physics as well as their mastery of applying the physical concepts to solving practical problems.

Under the guidance of a graduate advisor, all students follow a course of study and research that is in harmony with their background and goals. The size of our program fosters close personal contacts between students and the faculty.

Nearly all students participate in original research with their advisors, and also obtain teaching experience. Most students are supported by teaching or research assistantships.

More information about the M.S. physics degree program can be found on the departmental Physics Fact Sheet. Furthermore, the Ph.D. degree program in Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) features contemporary, advanced interdisciplinary research and educational opportunities for students and faculty.

Thank you for your interest in our program. Please feel absolutely free to contact me for any questions about our program.

Robert Fisher
Graduate Program Director
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NCSA article

Dr. Robert Fisher, Dr. Gaurav Khanna and graduate student David Falta featured in an article in National Center for Supercomputing Applications
(NCSA) Access Magazine. Read the article .

Frequently-Asked Questions for Applicants to the M.S. Physics Program

What is the deadline for admission?

The final deadline is March 31 for fall admission (Nov. 15 for spring admission) -- but it is advisable if at all possible to send your materials in by February 15 for fall admission (Oct. 15 for spring admission) if you wish full consideration for funding support. We begin to award fellowships on a competitive basis, which makes it more challenging to get funding towards the end of the cycle.

What is the minimum TOEFL exam scored required for admission? For funding support?

Here is a statement on the TOEFL minimum requirements. These are currently being discussed by the university, and will very likely be going up very soon.

"International students have to demonstrate their knowledge of English and their ability to follow advanced courses by taking the TOEFL examination prior to applying for admission. The minimum score for admission to the physics graduate program is specified as 500 on the paper-based test (61 on the internet-based test, 173 on the computer-based test); for admission with a teaching assistantship, the minimum score is 550 on the paper-based test (79 on the internet-based test, 213 on the computer-based test)."

I have taken the IELTS exam instead of the TOEFL. Do you accept IELTS?

Yes, IELTS scores are also accepted by the university. The minimum requirements for admission is an overall band IELTS score of 6.0, and an overall band IELTS score of 6.5 for support.

Is the general or physics subject GRE exam required for admission or support?

While we do not currently require either the general or the physics subject GRE for admission or support, it is highly recommended that you submit these scores if you have taken them. This is particularly the case for international students.

What percentage of applicants are admitted to the M.S. physics program with support?

Admission to the M.S. physics program is highly selective. In past years, we have generally admitted fewer than 20% of applicants with support.

Is an undergraduate degree in physics required for admission or support to the M.S. physics program?

No, an undergraduate degree in physics is not required for admission or support to the M.S. physics program. In fact, many of our best students have had undergraduate degrees in other fields, usually in engineering or a closely-related science, such as mechanical engineering, mathematics, or computer science. It is advisable that applicants from other disciplines contact the physics program director prior to submitting their materials to discuss the particulars of their case.

Here are my GRE/TOEFL scores and grades. What is the likelihood that I will be admitted and/or receive support?

Beyond the necessary university TOEFL/IELTS requirement, it is really impossible for us to make a judgment on any given application in advance with any firm probability. Admission to the M.S. physics program is highly selective, and depends not only upon a comprehensive review by several physics faculty members of the package of the applicant (including not only test scores and grades, but also prior research experience, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose). Additional external factors, including the overall strength of the application pool, the number of current M.S. students completing their degrees, and the availability of research funding also play an indirect role in determining the number of admission decisions with funding we make.
Generally speaking, we advise students who meet the minimum TOEFL and IELTS requirements, and whose research interests are closely-aligned with faculty members to apply and submit their full application materials for a comprehensive review.