Graduate Study

The department offers work for the degrees master of science and doctor of philosophy with majors in applied physics, astrophysics, condensed matter physics, high energy physics, nuclear physics, and physics; and minor credit courses to students majoring in other departments.

Facilities of the department, the Ames Laboratory, and the Applied Science Center, including the Microelectronics Research Center, are available for research.

Students with bachelor's degrees in physics or astronomy from other institutions ordinarily will qualify for graduate study at Iowa State provided they have satisfactorily completed coursework similar to that suggested for undergraduate physics majors at this university. In some cases, additional instruction at the intermediate level may be required.

All candidates for an advanced degree are expected to complete Phys 571, 572, 591, 531 and 564.

The degree master of science is offered both with and without thesis. (A thesis is always required for an M.S. in applied physics). In either case, the basic requirements are the same: At least 30 credits of acceptable graduate work must be completed, not less than 21 of which must be in physics or astronomy. Students must complete not less than 6 credits from outside their major area. Students choosing a degree with thesis may apply up to 8 credits of 699 but no credits of 599 toward the minimum 30 credits. Students choosing a degree without thesis should apply 2 credits of 599, but may not apply any credits of 699 toward the minimum 30 credits.

Each candidate for the doctor of philosophy degree, except for Astrophysics candidates, must also complete 592. Individual areas may impose additional requirements. In addition to coursework in the major area a candidate must complete 12 credits outside this area. Of these, 6 must be taken from other departments and 6 must be taken from the department. This latter 6 must include at least one 500 or 600 level introductory course in another area. Each candidate for the doctor of philosophy degree is required to teach one year of elementary physics or astronomy.

The Department of Physics cooperates in the interdepartmental minor in Technology and Social Change. (See Technology and Social Change.) Graduate students interested in a physics minor should contact the department for requirements.

Open for graduate minor credit only: Phys 304, 310, 311, 324, 361, 362, 364, 365, 396, 480, 481, and Astro 342, 344L, 346.

What will I learn as a graduate student?