2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 15, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Physics MS

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College: Sciences Degree: MS
Department: Physics Option: Thesis, Nonthesis
Program Websites: http://www.physics.ucf.edu/
Graduate Program Handbook

Program Description

The University of Central Florida offers a Master of Science in Physics. Research opportunities are available in condensed matter physics, nanostructure devices, surface science, optical physics, complex systems, biophysics, atomic and molecular physics, physics education and planetary/space science.


The Physics MS program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree and offers students a thesis and nonthesis option. All students take 12 credit hours of core courses, and then the remaining 18 credit hours consist of both electives and thesis or directed research according to the option chosen.

Total Credit Hours Required: 30 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

The Master of Science in Physics program is flexibly designed in order to prepare students for the widest possible range of industrial careers or for further study at the doctoral level. Courses must be selected so that at least one-half of the required courses are taken at the 6000 level.

Students pursuing a nonthesis master’s degree must take at least one directed research course as part of their elective work. In this course, students will work on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member and present a final report.

Required Courses: 12 Credit Hours

Elective Courses: 18 Credit Hours

Both thesis and nonthesis students take electives in consultation with their advisers. Out of the 18 elective credit hours at least 12 credit hours of formal course work are required and not more than 6 credit hours of 5000-level elective courses are counted toward the degree. At least 6 credit hours of thesis or 3 credit hours of directed research for the nonthesis option are required. Otherwise, elective selection is intended to be very flexible in order to meet student needs and interests. Electives may be chosen following one of the suggested specializations below, or a different program of study may be followed with academic adviser approval.

Materials Physics Specialization

Optical Physics Specialization

Theory/Computational Physics Specialization

Thesis Option: 6 Credit Hours

Students who choose the thesis option are required to conduct a program of original scientific research or some investigation involving a creative element and to submit a written thesis detailing these investigations. An oral defense and examination of the thesis is required. These six credit hours count towards the 18 hours of required electives for the degree.  An exit interview conducted by the Graduate Program Director is required after passing the thesis defense.

  • PHY 6971 - Thesis 6 Credit Hours

Nonthesis Option: 3 Credit Hours

Nonthesis students are required to take 15 credit hours of electives from the list of elective specializations shown above. In addition, they must take a minimum of 3 credit hours of directed research.  The three credit hours of directed research count towards the 18 hours of required electives for the degree.  In the directed research course, students work on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member and are required to present a final report as well as a written comprehensive exit examination.  The Graduate Program Director will arrange this exam.  The exit exam is followed by an exit interview.

  • PHY 6918 - Directed Research 3 Credit Hours

Independent Learning

Students pursuing a nonthesis master’s degree must take at least one directed research course as part of their elective work. In this course, students will work on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member and present a final report.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

Applicants interested in being considered for an assistantship and fellowship opportunities should apply directly to the Physics PhD program by the Fall priority deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Résumé.
  • Goal statement. Please state in two paragraphs your interest in the UCF Physics program, specifying the research area of your interest, including Faculty member(s) working in that area.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.

Students entering the Physics graduate program with regular status are normally expected to have completed coursework generally required for a bachelor’s degree in physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermal and statistical physics, and quantum mechanics.

Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on an evaluation of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant’s career/academic goals, and the applicant’s potential for completing the degree.

Application Deadlines

Physics MS *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 Jul 1 Dec 1  
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15 Jul 1  
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Abdelkader Kara PhD
Telephone: 407-823-5146
PSB 303  

Esperanza Soto Arcino
Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Telephone: 407-823-5146
PSB 432  

Graduate Admissions

Anthony Tufano
Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230  
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL  32816-0112

Institution Codes

GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241

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