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The thesis-based M.S. degree is available only by special permission of the Graduate Program Director.  It is primarily for PhD students who opt not to continue in the PhD program but who would like recognition for their work.  In rare cases, students in the course-based program may request a change to the thesis program, although UMass students in the accelerated M.S. program are currently ineligible for the thesis option.

The requirements for the thesis-based M.S. degree in Physics consist of the following:

  • a minimum of 30 graduate credits(course number 500 or higher);
  • at least 15 credits at 600-level or higher Physics courses;
  • at least 21 of the credits must be in Physics;
  • at least half of the total credits must be for a letter grade, and GPA must be at least 3.0;
  • independent study is allowed, to a maximum of 6 credits;
  • between 1 and 6 thesis credits are required;
  • five of the Physics courses must have a grade of B or better;
  • a maximum of 6 credits of graduate-level coursework taken at another institution can be transferred to the UMass M.S. program, subject to approval by the Physics Graduate Program Director;
  • one course in the Quantum Mechanics sequence, or equivalent, is required;
  • a Masters thesis and thesis defense is required.

See the list of Master's Degree Requirements at the Graduate School site, especially the Master's Degree checklist.

More information and sample programs of study can be found in the Physics Graduate Program Handbook.