The CCNY Physics Department offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) program in Physics. For many students, the City College Masters Program can provide a bridge to the PhD degree. This is ideal for students who become interested in physics late in their college years or after graduating from college and who find that their training in physics and mathematics is too weak to allow them to be admitted directly into a physics doctoral program.
In the CCNY Masters Program, students can make up deficiencies in their background through City College's fine undergraduate physics program and can learn at the graduate level in small classes. City College masters students also have access to the advanced doctoral courses taught at the CUNY Graduate Center. Many City College masters students in physics advance to the CUNY Doctoral Program in Physics or to other physics doctoral programs.
MA degree requirements
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Program and courses
The City College masters program can serve a range of student interests. There are graduate courses in basic areas of physics, including mathematical methods, quantum mechanics, analytical dynamics, electrodynamics, statistical mechanics, as well as graduate laboratories. Also, students can take the advanced graduate courses of the CUNY Doctoral Physics Program.
Required background for the program
Students in the masters program come from a range of backgrounds. Students whose undergraduate major was physics usually register immediately for the basic graduate courses. However, there are students whose undergraduate majors were in mathematics, engineering, or other non-physics fields, including economics and other liberal arts majors. Students with non-physics backgrounds can expect to study undergraduate-level physics in order to reach the graduate level.
Application and admission
Students are admitted to begin their graduate work in both the fall and spring semesters. For information about application to the program, please see Graduate Studies Overview.
Funding and costs
The City College MA program is among the most affordable. Some advanced graduate students in the MA program are partially supported with adjunct teaching opportunities on campus.
After the program
Many masters students have gone on to doctoral-level study at CUNY or other institutions, primarily in physics, but also in astrophysics, materials science, and other fields. Other graduates of our program have followed careers in education at many different levels, or careers in research centers including biomedical and computation.