Graduate Studies

Master of Science Program

Our Master of Science (MS) program in Physics consists of six or more courses on commonly taught topics in the first three semesters, plus involvement in our seminar course every semester, and research at an increasing level of intensity throughout the two-year program.  Course work focuses on developing skills in several areas of emphasis including computational physics, theoretical physics, solid state physics, materials science, and nanotechnology.

During their second semester, students begin working in one of our research groups, learning practical skills from their research mentor as well as other graduate students in the group. This research usually culminates in a written MS thesis, with participation in research conferences and joint authorship on peer-reviewed journal articles along the way.

Our department boasts small MS class sizes in a collaborative environment, and close mentoring from research faculty in tightly-knit research groups. We have active research relationships with Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Our MS program has been a successful gateway to doctoral programs in Physics and related fields, including careers in academia and national research labs. Many graduates from our program go on to exciting jobs in industry, including semiconductor applications in green energy fields and various forms of computing.

Details about our graduate courses and programs are available here (scroll to the bottom).

Admission Procedure

Applicants should have a bachelor's degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution with a major in Physics, or a minor in Physics and a major in a related field. Those focusing in materials science may find it helpful to have taken some undergraduate Chemistry.

Application instructions are available on the webpage of BGSU’s Graduate College along with an online application form. Special instructions for applicants from outside the United States are available there as well. GRE test scores are not required at this time. We encourage applications to be complete by the end of February, at which time we will begin considering financial assistance through TA and RA stipends and tuition scholarships for the following Fall term. We honor the April 15 deadline outlined in the Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees and Assistants.  Our department collaborates with the APS Bridge Program to help students from underrepresented groups obtain a graduate degree on the way to a career in Physics and related fields.


PhD Program in Photochemistry

Students interested in materials science and photophysics may also consider applying to BGSU’s Ph.D. program in Photochemistry. After 2-3 semesters of coursework focused on Photochemistry, students may join one of several research groups in Physics that are affiliated with the Center for Photochemical Sciences, which focuses on the interaction between light and matter. Some students do the MS in Physics and then apply to the PhD program; others apply to both programs to maximize their opportunities. The Photochemistry program utilizes different support staff, so we recommend contacting them directly for questions about applications and enrollment.

Contact Us

Marco Nardone, Graduate Coordinator
169 Overman Hall

Andrew C. Layden, Chair
104 Overman Hall

Liangfeng Sun, Photochemistry-Physics Liaison
115 PSLB

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403
voice: 419-372-2421
FAX: 419-372-9938

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the graduate degree, students in Physics and Astronomy are expected to be able to:

  • Demonstrate a rigorous understanding of how the Law of Gravitation and Newton’s dynamics account for the orbital properties of the planets and satellites in the solar system and the connection of the Newtonian approach with Lagrangian methods.
  • Demonstrate the ability to show how the Schrödinger equation provides a quantitative account of the properties of simple atomic systems, including wave functions and how potential barriers permit quantum mechanical tunneling.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the quantitative relationships between distributions of charge and the nature of the electric fields produced by them and of the connection between currents and the magnetic fields produced by them.
  • Demonstrate the ability to calculate thermodynamic quantities by employing the methods of statistical ensembles and phase space.
  • Demonstrate the ability to solve differential equations that arise in physics applications in analytical forms and using numerical methods.
  • Demonstrate the capability to make accurate measurements of important physical quantities and to explain their significance. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to present a professional talk on a research project in physics or astronomy and to write an appropriate abstract describing the contents of the talk.
  • Demonstrate the ability to synthesize scientific concepts, measurements, and equations (where appropriate) into a written paper. 

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Physics and Astronomy program will undergo its next Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2019-20.

Updated: 03/08/2023 12:27PM