Students interested in research with faculty at Stanford should apply directly to the PhD program. The purpose of the master’s program is to further develop knowledge and skills in applied physics and to prepare students for a professional career or doctoral studies. This is achieved through completion of courses, in the primary field as well as related areas. 45 units of completed course work in science and/or engineering at Stanford are required for the M.S. degree. There is no thesis component to the M.S. program, and research within faculty groups is neither expected nor guaranteed. There is no financial assistance from the Department or the University for students enrolled only in the terminal M.S. program. We note that eligible students often obtain teaching assistant appointments through other departments. Students enrolled in the PhD program may file for an M.S. degree en route to the Ph.D.
The number of graduate students admitted to Applied Physics is limited. Applications to the Master of Science and Ph.D. programs should be received by December 14, 2021. M.S. and PhD. students normally enter the department the following Autumn Quarter. Joint applicants for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program must submit their Knight-Hennessy Scholars application by October 6, 2021 by 1:00pm Pacific Time and Applied Physics application by December 14, 2021. The general and subject GREs are optional for both the Ph.D. and master's programs. Applicants may submit scores, but they are not required. The decision on whether to submit GRE scores is completely up to the applicant. The admissions committee will make evaluations based only on the information provided. Adverse inferences will not be drawn from an applicant’s choosing not to submit GRE scores.
The specific 45 units of course requirements for the Master of Science degree are the following, which are also discussed in the Stanford Bulletin:
- Courses in physics and mathematics to overcome deficiencies in the undergraduate preparation.
- Basic graduate courses (12 units total):
- Advanced Mechanics and Mathematical Physics – 1 quarter (3 units)
- Electrodynamics – 1 quarter (3 units)
- Quantum Mechanics – 2 quarters (6 units)
- 33 units of additional advanced courses in science and/or engineering. 18 of the 33 units may be any combination of advanced courses, directed study units, and 1-unit seminar courses to complete the requirement of 45 units.
- View core coursework list of the MS degree.
- View information about applying to grad school.
View the Required M.S. Program Application
Contact the Applied Physics Department Office if additional information on any of the above is needed.