Physics, M.S.

Master of Science in Physics

About the Degree

Graduate study in the Department of Physics focuses on materials physics and utilizes a wide range of experimental, analytical, and computational techniques. Experimentalists conduct research on surface physics and thin films, dielectrics and ferroelectrics, high-temperature superconductors, polymers and other areas solid-state physics. Theoretical projects include critical phenomena and phase transitions, polymer, semiconductor and solid-state physics.

Computational research is carried out in soft condensed matter physics, including biophysics, investigating conformational, dynamic, and electronic properties with simulations of atomistic and coarse-grained models.

Interdisciplinary Option: Chemical Physics
The faculties in the Departments of Physics and Chemistry offer a cooperative option leading to the Ph.D. in chemistry for those graduate students wishing to specialize in the interdisciplinary field of chemical physics.

The required courses in this program represent the core physics knowledge that every graduate student of physics is expected to master (Quantum Mechanics, Electromagnetic Theory, Lagrangian Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, Solid State Physics, and Advanced Laboratory). Electives include special topics courses in current research areas such as Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Biological Physics.

Salary and Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment of physicists and astronomers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.”

According to the American Institute of Physics, the median income for Physics Master’s degree holders after one year in the private sector is $60,000. The private sector is the largest employer of Physics MS graduates who do not continue into another graduate program.

About 60% of international and 32% of American Physics Master’s recipients continue their graduate education either in physics (about 2/3) or in another field (1/3).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for physicists in May 2014 is $109,600.

Why Akron?

  • Our students participate in research on hard and soft condensed matter, which is by its nature interdisciplinary and prepares the students for collaborative work in a vibrant field.  
  • Our program has a high placement rate of students in PhD programs.
  • The proposed Master’s degree in Materials Physics will add further distinction to our Master’s program.

Contact Information

            Graduate Coordinator:           Dr. Ang Chen

                                                            Ayer Hall, Room 229


                                                            (330) 972-6657

            Graduate School:                   Heather Blake

                                                            Polsky Building, Room 467


                                                            (330) 972-7664