Physics and Astronomy

Graduate Programs

Getting Started

The Department of Physics & Astronomy offers a Master of Science degree in Physics. The program can be tailored to prepare you for further graduate study in Physics or for a career in a technical field. To learn more about pursuing physics please browse through the American Physical Society website on students and education.

If you are interested our M.S. program, please contact our Graduate Advisor as early as possible. The contact information is: 

Dr. Miroslav Peric 
Department of Physics and Astronomy 
California State University Northridge, CA 91330-8268 
Email:  
(818) 677-2944 or (818) 677-2775

Additional Information on the activities of the Department of Physics and Astronomy can be found in the website: www.csun.edu/physics.

Graduate Financial Support

Our department is pleased to support our graduate students with Teaching Assistantships and/or Research Assistantships. These pay about $16,500 for the year at half time (16 hours per week). For exceptionally qualified students, we also have a limited number of tuition waivers. An estimate of the cost of attendance at CSUN is available here.

Degree Requirements

The requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Physics are:

1. Completion, with a B average, 30 units of approved graduate study. (Minimum 21 units of 500 and 600 level courses.)

a. Required core courses 14 units PHYS 600 Classical Mechanics 4 units PHYS 610 Electromagnetic Theory 4 units PHYS 630 Statistical Physics 3 units PHYS 650 Quantum Physics 3 units At least three of these must be taken in residence at CSU Northridge. Students are encouraged to complete the graduate core courses early in their studies.

b. Electives (16 units) These are to be selected, with approval, from 400, 500 and 600 level courses including Thesis (PHYS 698 3-6 units). At least 10 of these units must be in Physics. Up to 6 units of approved courses may be in related fields: Astronomy, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics.

2. Thesis or Comprehensive Examination:

a. Students electing the thesis option must pass an oral examination in the field of the thesis.

b. Students not electing the thesis option must pass a written comprehensive examination on PHYS 600, PHYS 610, PHYS 630 and PHYS 650.

Requirements for Admission

For general admission to the graduate program at the University, please look at the graduate student admission criteria here. In addition, the Department of Physics & Astronomy have the following supplemental requirements for admission to our Masters program.

  1. If the applicant has a bachelor's degree in physics, then a grade point average of at least 2.5 in all upper division physics lecture classes is required.
  2. If the bachelor's degree is in a related field, then a grade point average of at least 2.5 in all upper division lecture classes in the major is required.

Application Procedure

First, check application deadlines and program status (open, closed or exceptions) in the CSUN Admissions Calendar.

Then file an online application to the University through CSU Mentor

In addition, fill out the following additional application material from our department: Graduate Application 

If it is past the deadline, interested students are strongly encouraged to apply by contacting our graduate advisor, Dr. Miroslav Peric at . He may be able to help.

Graduate Status Descriptions

Conditionally Classified Status
Students who do not meet all requirements may, nevertheless, be accepted as CONDITIONALLY CLASSIFIED students, subject to meeting various University and departmental requirements for Classified status. It is important to achieve full Classified standing prior to completing more than 12 units of graduate work.

Classified Status
To meet the minimum for CLASSIFIED STATUS the student must fulfill the following:

1. At least a 3.0 grade point average in all work undertaken since admission to the program.

2. Score at or above the 50th percentile on one of the three portions of the aptitude test of the Graduate Record Examination*.

3. Have a passing grade in the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam.

* Normally the Graduate Record Examination should be taken prior to registration for graduate work at this institution. However it can be either taken during the first year. In certain cases this requirement can be waived.