The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers graduate education leading to the degrees of Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Physics. The Department has a flexible program of graduate study that can easily accommodate students with a wide variety of goals and backgrounds. Every entering graduate student will be assigned an academic advisor who is a member of the Department's Graduate Committee.

The time required for obtaining a degree should be kept to a minimum, giving due consideration to the student's background and particular subfield of specialization. During the first and second years of graduate study an adequately prepared student will take most of the formal courses in the program. For well prepared students, the times needed to obtain an M.S. degree and a Ph.D. degree are about two years and five years, respectively.

After obtaining admission to the Graduate College, all students must successfully complete the following steps in order to receive a degree:

  1. Pass the Preliminary Examination (see past exam examples).
  2. Complete all course work.
  3. M.S. degree students must:
    1. File a Memorandum of Courses before finishing one half of the course work for the M.S. degree (i.e., for most students this should be done during the second semester of their studies);
    2. pass the M.S. Comprehensive Examination;
    3. apply for the M.S. degree at the Office of Records and Registration;
    4. complete a thesis (if the thesis option described in the Graduate Studies Bulletin is chosen).
  4. Ph.D. degree students must:
    1. pass the Advanced Qualifying Examination;
    2. form a supervisory committee;
    3. file a memorandum of courses approved by the supervisory committee;
    4. pass the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination at least 7 months (but not longer than 3 years) prior to the final oral examination on the dissertation;
    5. complete a dissertation, including an oral defense of the dissertation.

Each student is responsible for knowing the requirements of his or her degree program as specified in the Graduate Studies Bulletin. It is available online or may be obtained from the Graduate Studies Office, 301 Administration Building. Requirements from the bulletin are not included here.

Please click on an option below for more details on specific degrees.


 Master of Science