Physics, M.S.

Graduate Degree

Physics offers students a well-rounded education, with a broad array of knowledge in the physical and natural sciences, including chemistry, astronomy, mathematics and engineering. Students who study physics will develop several other traits useful for employment in non-physics fields and will develop skills in programming, numerical literacy, creativity and problem solving.

Physics is present in many specialized fields, including astronomy, astrophysics and nanotechnology. There are also medical physics, geophysics, microelectronics, engineering, chemistry and biophysics opportunities, as well.

Why study Physics at Marshall University?

Physics is a field that develops skills in critical thinking, analysis and problem solving, all of which are in high demand by employers today. Students in the master of science in physics program at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia will pursue challenging, exciting and productive careers. Statistics show nearly all students with degrees in physics are hired into the workforce with salaries exceeding the national average.

At Marshall, we take pride in excellence in both research and teaching and our success is partly due to having world-class, award-winning faculty who are not only experts in their fields, but are also active in research. Small class sizes in Huntington, West Virginia offer a low student to faculty ratio, which enhances the educational experience of the next generation of scientists. Upper level courses in physics may only contain a handful of physics majors, which creates a unique experience with a great deal of individualized attention from senior faculty members. Marshall University in West Virginia is also ranked in the top 45% nationally for all physics programs.

Graduate students have a wide range of opportunities available for anyone interested in pursuing research. Topics addressed are diverse, spanning from theoretical condensed matter research, nanoparticles, soft condensed matter research, water filtration, laser and phonon physics, gravitation, relativity and numerical physics, optical astronomy, young sun-like stars, photovoltaic devices and thin film solar cells, and more, just ask or email one of our faculty.

Students in the master of science in physics program take advantage of several facilities on Marshall’s campus in West Virginia, including the “BigGreen” cluster, which features 276 central processing unit cores, 552 gigabytes of memory and more than 10 terabytes of storage. The Molecular and Biological Imaging Center (MBIC) provides students with instrumentation, infrastructure and a learning environment required to support the research and teaching programs at Marshall. Recently, a portable Atomic Force Microscope was also acquired for use with research and teaching, as well as a JEOL JSM-7200F Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope and a Lulzbot 3D printer.

Career Outlook for Physics Majors

Physics offers students a variety of work opportunities that lead to challenging, exciting and productive careers. The field also offers employment opportunities throughout the world in government, industry, schools and private organizations. Starting salaries range from $45,000 to $70,000. The types of jobs held by graduates with a master’s degree in physics include:

Research Engineer
Data Analyst
Diagnostic Medical Physicist
Therapeutic Medical Physicist
Clinical Scientist

Opportunities for Physics Majors

Students are invited to join Society of Physics Students (SPS), which is a professional association open to anyone interested in physics. The organization encourages students in the sciences to develop and grow in their knowledge base of science and physics-related research and to promote public interest and awareness in science. Students with high achievements may also be inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma, which is a national honor society that elects members on the basis of outstanding academic achievements.

Each semester, the physics department offers a series of events, which often include American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) guest speakers on a variety of topics. Students are invited and encouraged to attend.

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