On this page:
The Department of Physics offers a combined dual-degree program that allows you to earn both a B.S. and an M.S. in physics in five years (4+1). As outlined in the Academic Catalog, several courses and multiple credit hours will be applied toward both degree program requirements. You can complete a B.S. in four years and, during the fourth year, take up to 12 graduate credit hours that will count toward an M.S. During the fifth year, you will be a graduate student and will be eligible for either a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) or a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) that provides a full tuition waiver and a significant stipend during the academic year. GTAs help teach introductory laboratories and support teaching activities in the department. GRAs support faculty members’ externally sponsored research.
If you are a student in the physics B.S. program, you may petition to enter the five-year physics B.S.+M.S. program during the semester upon completing 60 semester hours of the model curriculum with a 3.2 average, including PHY 2400, 2410, 2420; and obtaining a 3.3 average in required physics and math courses taken to date. This petition would normally occur during the second semester of the junior year or earlier and must occur before the senior year. The petition must be approved by the physics department graduate studies committee and the physics department chair and be forwarded to the Graduate School for final approval and admission to the degree program. The graduate studies committee and/or the chair may consult a petitioner’s former instructors regarding suitability if they choose. The admission to the program will normally be at the beginning of the subsequent semester after approval (i.e. Fall Semester of the senior year). You must then seek advising each term to make sure you are following the necessary curriculum to eventually complete the program.
A 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in required physics courses is required to remain in the program. Normal graduate school probation rules apply.
Advising: Upon admission to the program, academic advising and permission to register is necessary each term. (This is due to the close sequencing of courses that is necessary to meet the five-year timeline.)
You are eligible for financial aid based on your enrollment status. Because you remain an undergraduate through the completion of the bachelor’s degree, you will be eligible for undergraduate financial aid through this period. You will become eligible for graduate forms of financial aid—including Graduate Tuition Scholarships (tuition wavier) and GRAs/GTAs/GAs—when you become a regularly admitted graduate student after the completion of the bachelor’s degree.
Reversion to the four-year B.S. degree occurs if you do not enroll in the necessary graduate courses within two years following completion of the physics B.S. requirements. In this case, PHY6000 or PHY7000 level courses may count as elective credits toward the B.S. degree but not toward the curricular requirements for the B.S. If reversion occurs and you subsequently are accepted into the physics M.S., any graduate credits applied to the physics B.S. cannot count toward the 30 semester credits required for the physics M.S.