University News

WIU Physics Department Ranks Second Nationally for Third Year

September 29, 2017

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MACOMB, IL – For the third year in a row, Western Illinois University has ranked second in the nation among institutions offering a master's degree in physics as its highest degree by the American Institute of Physics (AIP).

In 2015, WIU moved up to second from number 11 and from number 13 five years ago. The AIP ranks degree-granting institutions nationwide and reports statistics on all U.S. physics programs, following the demographics and trends of the physical sciences community.

"We are very thankful for the hard work and continual efforts of our faculty in mentoring our graduate students in their graduate research projects, which makes our program very attractive to potential students," said WIU Physics Chair Mark Boley.

In 2016, WIU awarded 16 master's degrees in physics. First place was captured by California State University at Long Beach, which had 19 master's degrees awarded in physics. There are 56 institutions nationwide who have the M.S. degree as the highest physics degree awarded.

Boley said the opportunities each student receives for individual faculty mentoring within the WIU physics program is crucial to their success.

"By the time our students graduate and enter the workforce or Ph.D. programs, their appreciation for this component of our program turns them into the best ambassadors for our program," he said. "We are thankful for the resources provided by our university administration and faithful alumni donors that support faculty-mentored student research."

Boley added that the WIU Department of Physics is "very happy for this achievement, and we appreciate the support of the university administration in maintaining our very successful physics M.S. program."

For more information on AIP, visit, or for more information about the WIU Department of Physics, visit

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