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Master's 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. A student pursuing a doctoral program may file for an M.S. degree en route to the Ph.D. 

The deadline for 2021-22 admissions is December 8, 2020.

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 Admissions Overview

View the Required Online M.S. Program Application

Contact the Applied Physics Department Office if additional information on any of the above is needed.