Physics and Astronomy Department

MS - Physics

At the core of all science, physics helps us understand chemical reactions, protein folding, the Earth's interior, and the life cycle of stars. Physicists invented the semiconductor, the laser, and the electron microscope. They play key roles in the design and operation of spacecraft and in the development of electronic and optical instrumentation. The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a Master of Science in Physics and two Concentrations. Our faculty are experts in lasers and optics, computational physics, condensed matter, astrophysics, and physics education research. The department receives on average approximately $1.8 million annually in external funding for sponsored research.

Additional information is available on the Department of Physics and Astronomy website at

Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see
Requirements of the Masters30
PHYS 100W. Methods of research and communication in physicsZ3
PHYS 205. Advanced Dynamics3
PHYS 210. Electromagnetic Theory3
PHYS 230. Methods in Mathematical Physics3
PHYS 260. Statistical Mechanics3
PHYS 263A. Quantum Theory3
3 units letter-graded 200-level physics3
3 units 100- or 200-level physics, mathematics, science or engineering courses approved by the graduate advisor3
Culminating Experience6
Complete one option (Plan A or Plan B):
Plan A (Thesis)
PHYS 298. Research1-4
PHYS 299. Master's Thesis1-4
3 units each of PHYS 298 and PHYS 299
Plan B (Project)
PHYS 298. Research1-4
3 units of PHYS 298
Additional 3 units of PHYS 298 or elective selected in consultation with graduate advisor3

Total Units:30