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Applied Physics Graduate Major (MS, PSM)

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College of Science | Physics

To be terminated pending approval of proposal 90296.


Janet Tate, Director
Department of Physics
301 Weniger Hall
Corvallis OR 97331

The worlds of science and business are increasingly interconnected, creating strong demand for individuals who can bridge these two disciplines. The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Applied Physics at OSU is the first program of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and was created with the help of professional affiliates who are leaders in industries dependent on applications of physics either to produce or to exploit contemporary technologies. In Oregon, industries such as semiconductor manufacturing, optical and electronic instrumentation, and software have become the dominant employers, replacing lumbering, fishing and other traditional resource-based industries. Applied physicists study photovoltaic technology, optoelectronics, energy and communication systems, imaging of cells and nanostructures, and many other subjects. An internship providing job experience in a technology-rich environment as well as special training in business management, communications, and ethics to complement core science uniquely qualify PSM Physics graduates for these diverse careers.

The PSM program can usually be completed in two years, based on full-time study and at least 54 credits. The technical curriculum is based on a core of graduate courses in the fundamental subjects of physics. Core physics courses (four courses selected from: PH 531, PH 535, PH 541, PH 551, PH 621, PH 631, PH 641, and PH 651) will cover topics such as electromagnetism, statistical and thermal physics and quantum mechanics. Elective courses develop skills in modeling, statistical analysis, and data management or in scientific fields closely related to physics (e.g., materials, energy etc.). Professional courses are required in communication, research ethics, and business management (PSM 513, PSM 565, PSM 566, PSM 567, COMM 550 and PHL 547). These courses are designed to be taken in sequence during the first academic year. Students are required to complete a 3 to 6 month internship (6–12 credits) in lieu of thesis research (PH 510).

For general information about PSM programs, contact the PSM Director, 2082 Cordley Hall, Corvallis OR 97331, 541-737-5259; email:

Degree Requirements (54 credits)

Core physics courses (12)
Electives (18)
Professional courses (18)
Internship (6)


Major Code: 5890

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