Related Websites

Program Overview

An MS in Physics program combines a sound basis in the fundamental areas of classical and modern physics from both a theoretical and an applied perspective. The program is designed to enable students with undergraduate backgrounds in physics or other technical areas to further their professional development and maintain and improve their technical development.

Students receiving a MS in Physics will obtain an understanding of advanced physics concepts and mathematical and problem-solving skills needed to solve advanced physics problems. Students are strongly encouraged to be involved with faculty research programs that will develop experimental skills in physics, astrophysics, or biophysics as well as experience in analyzing and interpreting scientific data and the writing of scientific papers and reports. The writing of a thesis is optional.

The MS in Physics requires students to complete 30 credit hours in graduate physics courses at or above a 3.0 grade point average. The following requirements apply:

  • A minimum of 15 credit hours at the graduate 5000 level is required.
  • 3 credit hours of faculty-directed research without thesis and 6 credit hours with thesis may be included.
  • A maximum of 15 credit hours at the senior undergraduate level may be included.
  • Up to 9 credit hours may be transferred from another institution.
  • Two-thirds of the required credit hours must be taken in residence.


Typical Program Path

First Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000, 5000 level course 6
Second Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000, 5000 level course 6
Third Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000, 5000 level course 6
PHYSICS 6490 Research 3
Fourth Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000 level course 6
PHYSICS 6490 Research 3
Total Hours 30

Learn more about the program curriculum.

What UMSL Arts & Sciences has to offer

The College of Arts and Sciences at UMSL creates the next poets, conservation biologists, symphony soloists, psychological scientists, historians, criminologists, chemists, sculptors, painters, communicators, space explorers and speakers of French, German, Japanese and Spanish. With nearly 4,000 undergraduate students, 800 graduate students and 450 faculty, it’s the largest college and academic backbone of the university.

Supporting the university’s mission, the college provides a diverse student body access to an affordable, quality education with expert faculty. A strong focus on research and scholarship has students exploring the latest thought and theory, while giving them access to ground-breaking studies through undergraduate and graduate research opportunities. Emphasis on the arts and sciences working in communion leads to graduates with a holistic understanding of their fields, creating the best scholars for academia and professionals for the world.

The College of Arts and Sciences consists of some 275 full-time faculty members in 18 departments and is home to the School of Fine and Performing Arts. The college offers a wide range of degree programs in areas such as Anthropology, Art and Design, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Biology, Chemistry, Communication and Media, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Economics, English, Languages and Cultural Studies, History, Mathematics and Computer Science, Philosophy, Physics and Astronomy, Political Science, Psychological Sciences, Sociology, and Theatre and Cinema Arts.

For more on the College Arts & Sciences, visit