MS in Applied Physics

The program of study leading to the degree of Master of Science, while emphasizing continued work in basic physics, permits many options in several applied physics specialties. The program may be considered simply as additional education in areas beyond the bachelor’s level, or as preparatory to doctoral studies in the applied physics fields of plasma physics, laser physics, or solid-state physics.


MS students must complete the Professional Development and Leadership Course, ENGI E4000, as a graduation requirement. For more information, see SEAS Bulletin: Graduate Programs, MS Program in Applied Physics.

If a student admitted to the Applied Physics MS only program is interested in the PhD program, the student must re-apply for admission.

Core Courses

Specific course requirements for the master’s degree are determined in consultation with the program adviser, but must include four of the six core courses listed below.

The core courses provide a student with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of applied physics, but with the approval of the faculty adviser, other graduate-level courses (4000, 6000, 8000, or 9000-level) with APPH designators not listed below may also count as core courses.

Other Possible Core Courses

Plasma Physics Courses

Solid State Physics Courses

  • APPH E4018: Applied physics laboratory (2 pts)
  • APPH E4112: Laser physics (3 pts)
  • ELEN E4301: Introduction to semiconductor devices (3 pts)
  • ELEN E6331-2: Principles of semiconductor physics I and II (3 pts)
  • MSAE E4206: Electronic and magnetic properties of solids (3 pts)
  • or their equivalent for solid state

Optical Physics Courses


In addition to core courses, MS students must select elective courses from those listed above or below. These courses can be chosen from other Applied Physics classes or from related academic fields such as Applied Mathematics, Materials Science and Engineering, and Electrical Engineering, subject to the approval of the faculty advisor. Some suggested elective courses include: 

Applied Mathematics Elective Courses 

  • APMA E4001: Principles of applied mathematics 

(3 pts)
  • APMA E4101: Introduction to nonlinear dynamical systems 

(3 pts)
  • APMA E4200: Partial differential equations 

(3 pts)  

  • APMA E4204: Functions of a complex variable 

(3 pts)
  • APMA E4300: Intro to numerical methods 

(3 pts) 

  • APMA E6302: Numerical analysis of partial differential equations (3 pts)

Electrical Engineering Elective Courses

  • ELEN E4301: Introduction to semiconductor devices 

(3 pts)
  • ELEN E4312: Analog electronic circuits (3 pots)
  • ELEN E4321: Digital VLSI circuits 

(3 pts)
  • ELEN E4401: Wave transmission and fiber optics 

(3 pts)
  • ELEN E4815: Random signals and noise (3 pts)
  • ELEN E6318: Microwave circuit design 

(3 pts)
  • ELEN E6412: Lightwave devices 

(3 pts)
  • ELEN E6488: Optical interconnects and interconnection networks (3 pts)
  • ELEN E4944: Principles of device microfabrication 

(3 pts)

Other Elective Courses (Mechanical Engineering, & Materials Science)

  • MSAE E4090: Nanotechnology (3 pts)
  • MSAE E4202: Thermodynamics and reactions in solids (3 pts)
  • MSAE E4206: Electronic and magnetic properties of solids 

(3 pts)
  • MSAE E4215: Mechanical behavior of structural materials 

(3 pts)
  • MSAE E4250: Ceramics and composites (3 pts)
  • EEME E4601: Digital control systems 

(3 pts)
  • MECE E6100: Advanced mechanics of fluids 

(3 pts)
  • MECE E6700: Carbon nanotube science and technology (3 pts)


Contact our Student Services Coordinator or reach out to an Applied Physics Advisor.

Graduate Admissions