Central Michigan University

Dow Science 203 201 E Ottawa Court, Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859, United States of America


Immerse yourself in hands-on experiences that will prepare you for the exciting science or technology related career you've always wanted.

The Department is a friendly and welcoming place, with social activities scheduled throughout the year. Class sizes are small, and students enjoy close interaction with instructors and with each other. Our Department faculty members are campus leaders in research productivity, creating a wealth of opportunities for our students. Our graduates have been very successful in the job market or in entering PhD programs in physics or related disciplines. Several recent students have entered CMU's interdisciplinary Science of Advanced Materials PhD program after earning their MS degree in Physics. A new PhD program in Physics started in the Fall of 2019.

A new area of strength in the Department is rare isotope physics. Three new experimental nuclear physicists joined the Department in July 2012, in anticipation of the opening of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), which is under construction an hour's drive from CMU. When finished, FRIB will be the premier nuclear physics laboratory in the U.S. and our new faculty members are expected to play leading roles in its development. Outstanding opportunities exist for students to become involved in this exciting, forefront science.


Program Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours are required, plus a Thesis.
Equivalently, Thesis work can be replaced by 6 credit hours of elective courses plus a small research project.

A PhD program in Physics started in the Fall of 2019. It requires 60 credits that includes classwork, research activities, and work towards dissertation.

Other degrees:
The Department of Physics participates in an interdisciplinary PhD program in the Science of Advanced Materials (SAM). See https://www.cmich.edu/colleges/se/sam/Pages/default.aspx for details. Students may begin with the M.S. in Physics and enter the SAM Ph.D. program after earning the M.S. degree.

A written Thesis is required, along with an oral thesis defense for graduation under the Thesis option.
GRE Requirements: Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

The CMU Department of Physics prides itself in maintaining a balance between excellent teaching and innovative, high-quality research. Classes are small, and students receive individual attention from their professors. The department is a friendly place, and CMU benefits from a lively, Midwestern college town atmosphere. There are research opportunities for students in a variety of areas in the department, taking advantage of our outstanding laboratory and computing facilities. A new area of strength is experimental nuclear physics. The department added three new faculty members in summer 2012 with research interests in rare isotope physics in anticipation of the $500 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), currently under construction at the site of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) in East Lansing, an hour’s drive from CMU. Students joining the department will have the opportunity to work in groups participating in the development of this world-class scientific facility.