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Gravitational wave

Study elements of traditional physics programs and the application of physics to a diversity of critical societal problems in a program compatible with ongoing employment at local high-technology organizations

student research, project, physics

Program Highlights

  • New: Quantum Information Science and Engineering Concentration with internship opportunities and preparation for this rapidly growing next generation workforce.
  • Choose from four concentrations: Standard, Engineering Physics, Applied Physics, or  Quantum Information Science and Engineering.
  • Many courses are offered during late afternoon or evening hours to allow students with full-time employment to easily attend
  • Students employed at area high-technology organizations may take up to 6 credits (out of 30) for work done on the job under the guidance of a faculty member.

Course Catalog

Review admission and course requirements for this degree:

Admission Requirements

Individuals holding a baccalaureate degree in physics or a related field from a regionally accredited institution and who have earned a GPA of 3.00 (out of 4.00) in their last 60 credits are invited to apply for admission. If the baccalaureate degree is in a field other than physics, applicants should have taken several courses beyond the introductory physics courses, such as junior-level classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, or electronics. Applicants may be required to make up one or two deficiencies, based on a graduate physics advisor's assessment, and be provisionally admitted into the program. Three letters of recommendation must be submitted, preferably from former professors. The general GRE and the GRE subject test in physics are recommended for applicants who received their baccalaureate degrees within the past five years.


Students may elect to complete the degree with one of the concentrations below.

Standard Concentration

View in Course Catalog

Engineering Physics Concentration

View in Course Catalog

Applied Physics Concentration

View in Course Catalog

Quantum Information Science and Engineering Concentration

This concentration prepares students for the quantum information workforce through study of physics and courses across mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering as appropriate for their career plans in this multidisciplinary field. Total credits: 15

Core Course (3 credits)
Select a focus area and choose one course therein:

Focus Area: Software
PHYS 736 Computational Quantum Mechanics
MATH 621 Algebra I 
MATH 641 Combinatorics and Graph Theory 
MATH 674 Stochastic Differential Equations 
CS 583 Analysis of Algorithms 
CS 587 Introduction to Cryptography 
CS 600 Theory of Computation 
CS 630 Advanced Algorithms 
CS 747 Deep Learning 
ECE 508 Internet of Things 
ECE 646 Applied Cryptography 
ECE 699 Advanced Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering 
ECE 746 Advanced Applied Cryptography 
ECE 747 Cryptographic Engineering 

Focus Area: Hardware
PHYS 512 Solid State Physics and Applications
PHYS 533 Modern Instrumentation
PHYS 611 Electro-optics
PHYS 784 Quantum Mechanics II
CHEM 579 Special Topics
CHEM 736 Computational Quantum Mechanics
ECE 685 Nanoelectronics
ME 754 Introduction to Nano-Materials

Research Project (3 credits)
Students in the QISE concentration are expected to gain hands-on experience either through an industry internship, externship research experience in a collaborating research laboratory, or research experience in a Mason research laboratory. 
PHYS 798 Research Project

General Electives (9 credits)
Select 9 credits of graduate-level science and engineering courses approved by an academic advisor.

  • Courses must be approved by an advisor.
  • Students may take PHYS 796 Directed Reading as a general elective. Up to 6 credits of PHYS 799 Master'sThesis may be taken as general electives by students who would like a thesis option in addition to the research project.

Thesis Option
In preparation for this option, the student must form a committee comprising a chair and two other faculty members.

The student completes a thesis under the direction of the committee chair. The thesis work is typically completed while students are registered for 6 credits of PHYS 799 Master's Thesis. A thesis proposal and thesis are submitted in accordance with AP.6 Graduate Policies. The student must give an oral defense of the thesis to the committee and the George Mason University community at large. Students are expected to respond to questions on the thesis and related material. The committee determines whether the defense is satisfactory.