Department of Physics

students and faculty member

Master of Science - Physics

English Graduate Program Highlights

The Department of Physics at WIU offers a program of graduate study leading to the Master of Science Degree in Physics. Our approach is designed to be flexible enough to allow students even with different undergraduate backgrounds the opportunity to prepare themselves for careers or advanced study in physics or related fields, careers in government or industrial research, or teaching at the secondary or postsecondary level.

The physics program provides the advantage of a caring, small department atmosphere with very committed professors. Students have the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research projects to prepare them for challenging Ph.D. programs in top research universities or competitive jobs after graduation.

Plans of Study
Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree

The Integrated BS/MS in Physics provides an opportunity for undergraduate physics majors to complete both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Physics in five years. Students in the integrated program are allowed to use nine semester hours of B-level physics classes to satisfy both the Bachelor of Science degree and the Master of Science degree in Physics. Students may select three out of five B-level courses: PHYS 410B, 421B, 431B, 468B, and 477B. The only exit option available in the integrated program is the thesis plan.

Career Areas

Our graduate students find success in many areas including:

  • Government and Public Sector
  • Industry and Business
  • Research Facilities
  • Science Administration and Media
  • Technician/Engineering

Degree Requirements

I. Core Course: 9 s.h.
  • PHYS 510 Classical Mechanics I (3)
  • PHYS 520 Electromagnetic Theory I (3)
  • PHYS 530 Quantum Mechanics I (3)
II. Plans of Study: 25 s.h.
  • Internship
  • Thesis Plan
  • Course Work Plan


View the Graduate Catalog for program details and course descriptions .

Admission Requirements

Students entering the program should have received their bachelor's degree with a major in physics. At the discretion of the Departmental Graduate Committee, other students may be admitted to the program; however, they may have to remedy deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation. The Graduate Record Examination is not required in physics.

Applications for admission are accepted at any time, but decisions concerning graduate assistantships are generally made by March 1 for the following academic year.


If you have questions about your application, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.


After you have been accepted to the program, you must make an appointment to speak to Physics Graduate Program Coordinator. Try to schedule this meeting via email during the first week of the semester. The Coordinator will help you understand program requirements and help you develop choices of courses and options that will most help meet your goals for the degree. Throughout your time in the program, the Coordinator is a resource to help you understand any aspect of your program. Feel free to email anytime, or to drop by the office as you have questions and concerns.

P.K. Babu

Graduate Program and Pre-Engineering Progam Coordinator

P.K. Babu, Ph.D.


Graduate assistantships provide a monthly stipend and a tuition waiver, as well as a small office within Currens Hall. Assistantships are awarded on an academically competitive basis. Work assignments involve both research and teaching experience. Experience is usually gained in working with and supervising undergraduate students in educational laboratory setup and by doing state-of-the-are research.

Please visit the School of Graduate Studies Graduate Assistantship web page detailing the information listed below.

  • Application Process
  • Tuition Waiver Benefit
  • Tuition Waiver Taxation
  • Payroll Schedule
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Selection of Assistants
  • Appointment Procedure
  • Administration of Assistantship Contracts
  • Employment Requirements
  • Lump Sum Payment Request – Graduate Assistant
  • Termination/Resignation
  • Evaluation of Performance
  • Time Reporting