Graduate Program

MASTER PROGRAM IN PHYSICS
I. Admission
A. Eligibility
The applicant must have at least a Bachelor's degree in Science with a Major in Physics, or its equivalent, with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 overall (on a scale of 1 to 4) and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Physics. The GPA in Physics is computed taking into account only those courses for which the department has equivalents. The student must have approved the following courses: Calculus, Linear Algebra, Modern Physics, Intermediate Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, Electronics, Elements of Quantum Mechanics, and Methods of Mathematical Physics. Applicants are required to take the GRE (verbal + quantitative) exam. The advanced GRE exam is recommended but not required for admission. Students from non-English speaking countries are required to demonstrate proficiency in English via the TOEFL exam.

B. Application
  • The student must submit the following material to the Admissions Committee of the Physics Program by February 15 to be considered for the Fall Semester, and by November 15 for the Spring Semester.
  • Two copies of the official application form, which can be obtained from the Department of Physics.
  • Two official copies of transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation, of which two should be from professors at the university at which the applicant earned the B.S. or M.S. degree.
  • A personal interview may be requested by the Admissions Committee. All the applications will be evaluated by the Graduate Admissions Committee of the Program.

C. Conditional Admission
The applicant who fails to fulfill one or more admission requirements, but who otherwise shows promise of success as a graduate student, may be granted conditional admission to the graduate program. In such a case the Admissions Committee will inform the student the conditions that must be fulfilled within a specified time period in order that the student is granted regular admission and is considered in good standing in the program. A student who has been admitted conditionally will be considered to be on probation until the time limit ends and the conditions have been met. The Chairman and Graduate Academic Advisor will assist the student in the design of a program of studies to help him (her) comply with the conditions.

D. Transfer Credits
Only graduate courses with a grade of B or better, taken within five years prior to the date of entrance to the Graduate Program, can be considered for transfer credits. To apply for acceptance of transfer credits, the student should submit one copy of the official transcript of the graduate courses and one copy of the form Request for Transfer Credits.

Graduate courses taken at the Río Piedras Campus before admission to the Graduate Program can be counted towards the total number of course credits required for the graduate degrees, provided that those courses were not used to fulfill the requirements for the B.S. degree.

II. Requirements for the Masters Degree
Any student who wishes to obtain a graduate degree must first be formally admitted to candidacy for a degree by the Graduate Committee. Advancement to candidacy for a degree signifies that the student has demonstrated that he is capable of fulfilling the requirements for the degree and has sufficient preparation to pursue research. A graduate student becomes a Master's Candidate upon:

  • Successful completion of the Course Work with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Presenting a Seminar in the Department
  • Passing the comprehensive exam

Following this process, awarding of the Master's Degree depends upon successful completion and defense of the Thesis. A student is not permitted to begin working on the thesis before passing the comprehensive.

A. Course Work
The student must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in graduate courses with a minimum GPA of 3.

B. Required Courses

C. Elective Courses
Two courses of 3 credits each, at the graduate level in Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics.

D. Seminars
A student must give a seminar in the Department.

E. Comprehensive Exam
Upon completion of the Required Courses, the student must pass a written Comprehensive Examination. The student must pass the exam during the first two consecutive opportunities (one in June and one in July) that are available to him (her).

F. Thesis-Research
A minimum of 6 credits of research must be taken. The student must write and defend a dissertation based on his work.