Degree Requirements: M.S. in Astronomy & Astrophysics

M.S. in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Many of our Ph.D. students obtain a M.S. degree during the course of their studies. However, students will not normally be accepted into the Astrophysics graduate program unless their ultimate goal is to obtain a Ph.D. degree. To obtain a M.S. degree, students must take the same courses as for the Astrophysics Ph.D. degree. This includes taking the two-semester research course described for the Ph.D. program.

The requirements for the M.S. degree are:

1. Complete a total of 30 credits that satisfy either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis) of the general university requirements for a Masters degree.

2. Pass the Qualifying Exam on undergraduate Physics at the M.S. (with a grade of B or above) level before the end of the student's first semester of the second year. A maximum of three tries is allowed on this exam.

3. Pass the core physics and astronomy courses with an average grade of 3.0 or better.

4. Under Plan A: complete at least 4 credits of Astronomy 899 Master's Thesis Research, and pass a final oral examination in defense of the thesis; or, under Plan B: complete 6 credits in Astronomy 805 Research Project and pass the examination on the research course at least at the M.S. level. Students choosing Plan A must form a Guidance Committee of three regular faculty members, including the student's Master's thesis advisor. This committee will meet with the student yearly and will act as examiners of the student's thesis and oral defense (see form needed-Appendix E).

5. The Department of Physics and Astronomy has no foreign language requirement.