The Physics Master's program is suitable as both a means for professional development and preparation for further graduate study.  The program offers enough flexibility to allow for completion of the degree in two, three, or four semesters of full time enrollment, depending on a student’s background. The program may also be completed with part time enrollment over a longer period.

Degree Requirements

A total of 8 credits in 2000 level courses form the main requirement for the ScM degree in Physics.  Of the eight required courses, four will be selected from the six core courses of the PhD program (PHYS2010, 2030, 2040, 2050, 2060, 2140).  Preparation of a Master’s thesis is highly recommended as it forms an important pillar of the professional training.  Therefore, one of the eight required courses may be preparation of the thesis.  Three additional credits at the 2000 level are required.  These courses are to be selected from the remaining core courses or the large number of other upper level physics courses.  Up to two of these can be taken in another department with approval of the program director. 

Students with less rigorous physics backgrounds will be advised to take a mixture of 1000 level and 2000 level courses during their course of study, necessitating a 3 or 4 semester track to completion.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are expected to have a strong background in physics or closely related subjects at the undergraduate level. Two recommendation letters are required. The recommendation letters should be from faculty who are acquainted with the applicant's academic or research qualifications.

  • GRE General: Recommended 

  • GRE Subject: Recommended 

  • TOEFL or IELTS: Required for most international applicants. More information here.

Application Deadline: May 1.  The program has rolling admissions. Apply Here.

5th Year Master's Program

 The Department of Physics participates in the 5th-Year Master's Degree option at Brown which allows Brown undergraduates to continue at the University for a master's degree after completing their bachelor's degrees. Up to two of the eight courses required for the degree may be completed while participating students are undergraduates, but at least six semester courses must be taken while students are registered at the graduate level. 

Students must apply for this program before they complete their undergraduate studies.  Because the admission decisions for graduate programs are made at the program level, rising juniors and seniors who are interested in pursuing the 5th Year Master’s option should contact faculty in their intended programs. Applicants are not required to take the GRE.


ScM Student Handbook