Graduate Catalog
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Physics and Material Science

JINGBIAO CUI, PhD
Professor and Chair
Room 216 Manning Hall
(901)-678-3657
Email: jcui@memphis.edu 


SANJAY MISHRA, PhD
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
(901)-678-3115
E-mail: smishra@memphis.edu

www.memphis.edu/physics/index.php

I. The Department of Physics and Material Science offers a major in Physics for the Master of Science degree with concentrations in General Physics, Computational Physics and Materials Science. Program objectives are: (1) development of an in-depth and specialized knowledge of physical phenomena; (2) ability to successfully demonstrate analytic cognitive knowledge in physics and communications skills through close interaction with other students and the physics faculty; and (3) preparation to continue studies in a PhD program, enter a professional school, or enter the workforce as a technical professional.

Graduate students must comply with the general requirements of the Graduate School (see Admissions Regulations, Academic Regulations, and Minimum Degree Requirements) as well as the program requirements of the degree being pursued.

II. MS Degree Program

A. Program Admission Requirements

  1. For admission to the graduate program, a Bachelor’s degree in Physics or a closely related area is required; no minimum undergraduate GPA is specified. Students are also required to present, as a prerequisite, 20 semester hours of undergraduate physics courses including upper division Mechanics, Electricity, and Magnetism, and approved Mathematics courses in Calculus and Differential Equations.
  2. The GRE general test is recommended and may enhance an applicant's likelihood of admissions. The GRE subject test is not required.
  3. Students from non-English speaking countries are required to demonstrate proficiency in English via the TOEFL examination. The minimum acceptable score is 550.

B. Program Requirements

  1. After meeting the general degree requirements for admission to The Graduate School, students selecting Physics as a major will be assigned to the Department Graduate Committee, which must approve and direct their course of study.
  2. Core requirements (9 credit hours)*:
    1. PHYS 7200/8200, PHYS 7386, and PHYS 7520.
    2. Satisfactory completion of an oral comprehensive exam typically given during the final thesis oral presentation.
  3. Concentration Requirements (Students may elect either a thesis or non-thesis program.)

    a. General Physics Concentration, thesis option (30 credit hours)
    (Physics Program core requirement*: 9 credit hours, Concentration requirement: 6 credit hours, Thesis: 6 credit hours, Additional courses: 9 credit hours)

    1. General Physics Concentration requirement: PHYS 7100/8100, PHYS 7300.
    2. Sufficient additional courses, including 6 semester hours in PHYS 7996, Thesis, to satisfy a minimum of 30 semester hours (9 semester hours may be in a collateral field of study with course numbers 6000 or above). These courses must be approved by the graduate advisor. 21 semester hours must be taken in courses numbered 7000 or above.
    3. The student must present a research proposal to the graduate thesis committee at the end of the first semester of his/her study for the thesis approval.
    4. The student must complete a research project, submit a written thesis describing the research, orally present and defend the thesis before a faculty committee. Students should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before beginning to write.

    b. General Physics Concentration, non-thesis option (33 credit hours)
    (Physics Program core requirement*: 9 credit hours, Concentration requirement: 6 credit hours, Additional courses: 18 credit hours)

    1. General Physics Concentration requirement (6 credit hours): PHYS 7100/8100 and PHYS 7300.
    2. Sufficient additional courses to satisfy a minimum of 33 semester hours, in which 9 may be in a collateral field of study. These courses must be approved by the graduate advisor. 23 semester hours must be taken in courses numbered 7000 or above.
    3. Complete a survey of an area of current research in fundamental or applied physics and make an oral and written presentation based on this survey before a faculty committee. The subject of this survey must be approved by the departmental graduate committee at least one semester prior to graduation.

    c. Computational Physics, thesis program (30 credit hours)
    (Physics Program core requirement*: 9 credit hours, Concentration requirement: 6 credit hours, Thesis: 6 credit hours, Additional courses: 9 credit hours)

    1. PHYS 7385, MATH 7721
    2. PHYS 7996 Thesis; must contain a strong computational physics component.  Students should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before beginning to write.
    3. The student must present a research proposal to the graduate thesis committee at the end of the first semester of his/her study for the thesis approval.
    4. Additional courses to be taken from the following list: CHEM 6415, COMP 7721, MATH 6391, MATH 6393, MATH 7321, MATH 7393. These courses must be approved by the graduate advisor.

    d. Computational Physics, non-thesis program (33 credit hours)
    (Physics Program requirement*: 9 credit hours, Concentration requirement: 6 credit hours, Additional courses: 18 credit hours)

    1. PHYS 7385, MATH 7721
    2. Sufficient additional courses numbered 6000 and above, including PHYS 7100/8100 and PHYS 7300, to satisfy a minimum of 33 semester hours. These courses can be taken in a collateral field of study. CHEM 6415, COMP 7721, MATH 6391, MATH 6393, MATH 6721, MATH 7321, MATH 7393.

    e. Materials Science Concentration, thesis program (30 credit hours)
    (Physics Program requirement*: 9 credit hours, Concentration requirement: 12 credit hours, Thesis: 6 credit hours, Additional courses: 3 credit hours)

    1. Materials Science Concentration requirement: PHYS 6610, PHYS 6810, MEC 7361/8361, PHYS 7390 and PHYS 7996.
    2. Sufficient additional courses (in a collateral field of study with course numbers 6000 or above), including 6 semester hours in PHYS 7996, Thesis, to satisfy a minimum of 30 semester hours. These courses must be approved by the graduate advisor.
    3. The student must present a research proposal to the graduate thesis committee at the end of the first semester of his/her study for the thesis approval.
    4. The student must complete a research project, submit a written thesis describing the research, orally present and defend the thesis before a faculty committee. Students should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before beginning to write.

    f. Materials Science Concentration, non-thesis program (33 credit hours)
    (Physics Program requirement*: 9 credit hours, Concentration requirement: 12 credit hours, Additional courses: 12 credit hours)

    1. Materials Science Concentration requirement: PHYS 6610, PHYS 6810, MEC 7361/8361, and PHYS 7390.
    2. Sufficient additional courses (12 credit hours in collateral field of study with course numbers 6000 or above), to satisfy a minimum of 33 semester hours. These courses must be approved by the graduate advisor.
    3. Complete a survey of an area of current research in fundamental or applied materials physics and make an oral and written presentation based on this survey before a faculty committee. The subject of this survey must be approved by the departmental graduate committee at least one semester prior to graduation.

III. Dual Degree BS-MS Accelerated Program

Highly motivated and talented students may pursue an undergraduate degree (B.S.) in Physics followed by a graduate (M.S.) in Physics in a special five-year program. This option requires serious commitment, careful planning with the student’s advisor, and summer research work leading toward a Master’s thesis. Carefully tailored course of study allow students in this program to complete their B.S. degree while they also begin the coursework towards their M.S. Students interested in pursuing this option should contact both the undergraduate and graduate advisors in the Department of Physics and Materials Science early in their undergraduate career.

To apply, students should have a minimum 3.25 grade point average, and must submit two reference letters and a copy of their transcripts to the Chair of the Graduate Committee of the Department. Exceptions to the minimum GPA will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Each applicant will complete an interview with the graduate coordinator in the Department of Physics and Materials Science.

Students must apply to the Graduate School for “combination senior” status, which allows them to take graduate courses in Physics. To continue in the program past the B.S., students must apply for admission into the Graduate School.

Up to 9 hours of graduate course work may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate programs. 


PHYSICS AND MATERIAL SCIENCE (PHYS)

In addition to the courses below, the department may offer the following Special Topics courses:
PHYS 6000-09. Special Topics in Physics. (3). Selected topics of current interest in physics. Topics are varied and announced in online class listings.

PHYS 7050-59. Special Topics in Advanced Physics. (3-6). Selected topics in advanced physics. Topics are varied and announced in online class listings.