Dr. Robert Fisher, Dr. Gaurav Khanna and graduate student David Falta featured in an article in National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Access Magazine.
Master of Science in Physics
Welcome to the Physics Graduate Program website and thank you for your interest in our Master of Science degree! The UMass Dartmouth MS 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. Once you are prepared to submit your application, you may do so through the graduate studies office.
Thank you for your interest in our program. Please feel absolutely free to contact me for any questions about our program.
Graduate Program Director
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.
What are the required documents for application to the M.S. physics program?
The following documents are required:
- A graduate application form
- Three letters of recommendation
- A statement of purpose
- Official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended (both undergraduate and graduate)
- International Applicants Form/Declaration of Finances Form (international students only)
- TOEFL or IELTS scores (non-native English speakers only)
Additionally, GRE scores are strongly recommended, though not required.
We recommend using the online submission form. However, if you do not have a credit card, you may print out all forms on paper and submit these by mail, with the letters of recommendation submitted in envelopes sealed and signed by your recommenders. More information can be found on the UMass Dartmouth Graduate Studies site:
What is the graduate application fee?
The graduate application fee is currently $60 US.
What should I include in my statement of purpose?
In your statement of purpose, you should briefly summarize your experience both in research and in the classroom, and your plans for graduate school. Note we will have your transcript, so you should only highlight classroom experience of particular significance. Address why you are a good match to the M.S. physics program at UMass Dartmouth. Additionally, if you are applying for an assistantship, you should also describe any instructional experience that would enable you to be an effective teaching assistant. Lastly, explain how a graduate degree fits into your long-term career plans.
Please note we receive many statements which are generic and do not specifically connect the applicant's education and experience to UMass Dartmouth specifically. Ensure that your statement directly addresses how your education, experience, and current research interests fit into the research of the physics faculty.
I'm ready to apply! Where can I submit my application?
Once you are ready to submit your application, you may do so here: