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Undergraduate Physics at The Ohio State University

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Physics BS/MS Program

The combined BS/MS Degree Program in Physics is an opportunity for qualified undergraduates in Physics or Engineering Physics to begin the Master's program in Physics during their senior year, with the possibility of completing the Master's degree the following year. Students who are accepted in to the Physics BS/MS Program are allowed to double count up to 20 quarter credit hours of classes toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.


Students must meet all requirements set by the Graduate School for combined BS/MS programs. These requirements can be found in Section 8.1 of the Graduate School Handbook and include the following criteria:
  • Senior level standing in Physics or Engineering Physics
  • Completion of 135 undergraduate credit hours
  • Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA in all previous undergraduate work (this is not negotiable).
  • Application for admission to the Physics Master's program following normal profcess with indication to enter the combined BS/MS program.
  • Admission by the Physics Graduate Studies Committee and the OSU Graduate School

Academic Requirements

  • A minimum of 50 quarter credit hours of graduate work.
  • Methods of Theoretical Physics (Physics 730), or Math 601, 602, for students deficient in mathematical preparation
  • Five courses from the following list, including two at the 800 level:
    • Physics 6XX (including: Physics 616, 631-632-633, 656-657, 621-622, 664, Astronomy 681-682)
    • Physics 780.XX (we strongly encourage 780.20: Computational Physics)
    • Physics 821 (Classical Dynamics)
    • Physics 846, 847 (Statistical Mechanics)
    • Physics 827, 828, 829 (Quantum Mechanics)
    • Physics 834, 835, 836 (Electricity & Magnetism)
  • 14 or more quarter credit hours of Physics 816 (research work)
  • 2 or more additional graduate level courses in an area approved by the BS/MS program advisors. These could be physics graduate courses or graduate courses in other programs. Example courses include:
    • CSE 621: Introduction to High-Performance Computing
    • Statistics 610: Statistical Theory
    • Statistics 632: Applied Stochastic Processes
    • Statisitcs 625: Applied Bayesian Analysis
    • BUS-MHR 890: Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization
    • ACCT&MIS 838: Emerging Technologies & Electronic Commerce
    • Mechanical Engineering 682: Product Design Fundamentals
    • And other courses in a variety of graduate programs
(Note: if any of the above courses were taken prior to admittance to the BS/MS program, they cannot be counted toward the BS/MS requirements)

Additional Requirements

In addition to the courswork, a student in this program must demonstrate competence in individual work wich will be fulfilled by the satisfactory completion of 14 quarter credit hours of Physics 816 (no less than 3 and no more than 6 credit hours per quarter). Students registered for this course may:
  • Do advanced experimental work under the supervision of the student's advisor using special facilities available in the advisor's laboratory
  • Or do advanced theoretical work under the supervision of the students's advisor
  • Or design, construct, and test and new experiment for use in a class or laboratory setting. This work may be completed under the supervision of a faculty or course supervisor.
Finally, BS/MS students must submit a satisfactory written report of their research work and pass the Final Oral Examination administered by the student's advisor and a faculty member approved by the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee. The certification to the Graduate School of the successful completion of the requirements shall be made by the student's advisor and the Vice Chair for Graduate Studies and Research.


If you are interested in applying for the BS/MS Program in Physics, please complete the Graduate School Application for the Combined Program and hand it in to Lindsey Thaler in room 1142 Physics Research Building. Interested students must also formally apply to the Graduate Program in Physics.

Sample Schedule of the Physics BS/MS Program:

Year Autumn Winter Spring
1 Physics 131 (5) Physics 132(5) Physics 133 (5)
  Math 151 (5) Math 152 (5) Math 153 (5)
      CS&E 202 (4)
2 Physics 261 (4) Physics 262 (4) Physics 263 (4)
  Physics 295 (1)   Physics 416 (4)
  Math 254 (5) Math 513 (3) Math 415 (4)
3 Physics 555 (4) Physics 656 (4) Physics 657 (4)
  Physics 631 (4) Physics 632 (4) Physics 633 (4)
  Math 568 (3)   Physics 517 (4)
4 Physics 596 (3) Physics 780.20 (4) Physics 616 (4)
  Physics 621 (4) Physics 622 (4) Physics 664 (4)
    Physics 816 (3) Physics 816 (3)
5 Physics 821 (4) Physics 816( 4) Physics 816 (4)
  Physics 827 (5) Physics 828 (5) Physics 780 (4)
  Physics 834 (4)    
Courses in GREEN are counted only toward the undergraduate degree
Courses in RED are double counted toward the undergraduate and graduate degrees
Courses in BLUE are counted only toward the graduate degree

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