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Physics BS/MS

This accelerated program enables well-qualified BS degree students in Physics to complete both the BS and the MS with up to 15 fewer total credits. Students in the BS/MS program can have up to two 400-level courses (6 credits) not used for the BS degree counted toward the MS degree. 

They can take three graduate-level (500+) physics courses during their senior year (9 credits) to be double-counted toward their Physics MS degree requirements. BS/MS students may elect to do a master's thesis or a project, in which case up to 6 research credits can be counted, or complete the equivalent number of credits in graduate-level coursework. 

Because a total of 30 credits are required for the MS degree, with 6 400-level credits and 9 graduate credits double-counted, qualified students can finish the 4+1 program with one extra year. 

Note that only 400-level courses in which the student receives a grade of B (not B minus) or better may be accepted toward graduate degree requirements. 


Outstanding Physics undergraduate students (including transfer students) should indicate their intension to pursue the BS/MS program in the Fall semester of their junior year. They will be considered for eligibility during the following Spring semester if they: 

  • Have completed at least 75 credit-hours of coursework toward the Physics BS degree. 
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.0 in all physics courses completed to date. 

Those students interested in the BS/MS program should consult the Physics Graduate Program Director about their eligibility. Students apply for admission to the BS/MS program through the Office of Graduate Studies by submitting the regular graduate school application, but without GRE or TOEFL scores or letters of recommendation. Applications are reviewed by the Physics Graduate Committee and will follow the following schedule during students’ junior year: 

  • Graduate Committee identifies qualified students: February 
  • Graduate Committee informs qualified students: March 
  • Students/advisors develop MS program of study: March/April 
  • Graduate School application filing deadline: May 1 

Progression to MS Study

A grade of B or better in all three graduate courses is required in the accelerated path; in the event the B grade is not achieved, an additional graduate course must be completed. Upon fulfillment of all BS degree requirements, students’ status changes from undergraduate to graduate level, at which time they may be considered for graduate assistantships. 

Maintaining MS Status

The department monitors BS/MS students' performance and progression towards their BS and then MS degrees. Any BS/MS student dismissed from the MS level for inadequate academic performance will be transferred back to the BS level program.