College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences2021-2022

Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science

Applied Physics, Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a two-year master's degree that provides a strong core of applied physics as well as essential research skills, and prepares students for employment in high-technology industries, research institutes, or further academic study in physics. The program is designed to train students in laboratory skills, providing them with computational and computer modeling expertise, developing their competencies in the use and design of modern instrumentation, and providing them with a basic foundation in physics. There are both thesis and coursework options available. These plans can be interdisciplinary, integrating a broad range of subject areas to enhance opportunities in research or the private sector.

Student Learning Outcomes
Students will achieve the following learning outcomes:
  • Enhanced Understanding and Application of the Laws of Physics with a special emphasis on experimentation and computational methods.  Areas of enhancement:
    • spectroscopy
    • optics
    • computational methods
    • microscopic structure of matter
    • statistical physics
    • instrumentation 
  • Written and Oral Communication Skills: clearly communicate and defend original ideas and research in verbal, written, and visual formats to scientific and non-scientific audiences.
  • Problem Solving Skills:
    • interpret experimental data and derive useful information from that data
    • solve physical problems via numerical computation
    • utilize specialized instrumentation to perform experimentation on physical systems
    • apply knowledge of physical theory to design appropriate experiments 
  • General Physics Thesis Track: Design, pursue, and complete an original research project that contributes to the field of physics.  Through the thesis experience students will:
    • design with the guidance of a thesis adviser an original and significant research project
    • conduct a literature review of the topic
    • apply appropriate theories of physics and laboratory tools to the research project
    • analyze, interpret, and explain findings of the research project
    • synthesize and present the relevance of the project in both technical and non-technical terms
    • write a thesis
    • clearly present  and defend the research project in front of a community of physics faculty and peers 
  • General Physics Coursework Track: Through this coursework students will demonstrate a deeper mastery in their chosen areas of study, including:
    • computational, optical, and materials physics.
    • a range of experimental laboratory techniques
    • computational methods in physics

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