Master's Degree

PLEASE NOTE: Graduate students in Physics are admitted directly into the Ph.D. program. Master's Degrees are often awarded to students who have completed Comps I and II.

Graduation requirements are governed by policies of both the Department of Physics and the University of Colorado Graduate School. The basic requirements for attaining a master’s degree are:

  • Complete within 4 years.
  • Complete 30 hours of course work with at least a B- in each class. Normally, at least 27 of the 30 credit hours should be in physics. To have fewer than 27 of the 30 credit hours in physics, you must petition the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies.
  • Retain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Complete both Comps I and Comps II.
  • File an the Candidacy Application form and apply to graduate online through Buff Portal by the posted deadlines.
  • The Master’s Exam form can be accessed on the Grad School website. It should only be filled out after the student has successfully passed all parts of Comps II. It will be sent to you committee members via docusign.

A student seeking a Master’s degree in the Physics department typically chooses “Plan II” (i.e. Master’s degree without thesis).  This has the following additional requirements:

Plan II – Master’s Without Thesis but with Final Exam

The minimum requirement for a master’s degree is 30 credit hours. The courses must all be at the 5000 level or above. The Comps II exam serves as the Master’s Exam.

Paperwork and Deadlines for Graduation

The Department of Physics works with the University of Colorado Graduate School to ensure our candidates meet all requirements before graduation. As such, the Graduate School has provided a complete list of required documentation and corresponding deadlines for students who are seeking degrees under both Plan I (With Thesis) and Plan II (Without Thesis).

Students must apply to graduate online, at the Buff Portal. Please note, the deadlines are strictly adhered to, and no exceptions will be made. Deadlines can be found on the Graduate School Web site.

Please contact Jeanne Nijhowne with any questions or problems regarding these and other graduation requirements.