Master of Science in Physics

At the core of all science, physics helps us understand chemical reactions, protein folding, the Earth’s interior, and the life cycle of stars. Physicists invented the transistor, the laser, and the electron microscope. They play key roles in the design and operation of spacecraft and in the development of electronic and optical instrumentation. The Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty at SJSU are experts in fields including astronomy and cosmology, atomic/molecular/optical physics and quantum information, condensed matter, high-energy physics, optics and photonics, physics education research, and quantum foundations. The department receives on average approximately $1.8 million annually in external funding for sponsored research.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy's M.S. degree is recommended for those who wish to advance their career in science or technology, those who wish to teach Physics at the high school or community college level or for those who want an introduction to graduate work before starting a Ph.D. program. Research experience is an integral part of the program. We provide partial financial support for students teaching assistants of lower division lab courses that includes a stipend and partial or full tuition waver depending on the number of credits being taught by the student.

It typically takes 2-3 years to obtain a master's degree. However it is possible to take up to 7 years if you have other life activities that you need to schedule around.

Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be considered. Letters of recommendation are not required, nor is the GRE required. For applicants without an undergraduate degree in physics we will typically require that you complete upper division classes in classical mechanics, electricity & magnetism, and quantum mechanics (at SJSU these classes are PHYS 105, PHYS 110 and PHYS 163). These can be taken before applying, or can be taken after joining the program as a condition of advancement to candidacy. For more information, see the links below or contact Prof. Cassandra Paul, the graduate program coordinator, at