414 E. Clark Street, Vermillion, South Dakota 57069, United States of America

University of South Dakota

414 E. Clark Street, Vermillion, South Dakota 57069, United States of America


Physicists help us understand the world at its most fundamental level, from the smallest particles to the universe itself.

Master of Science (M.S.) The Master of Science (M.S.) in Physics will prepare you for a variety of career paths, including further study leading to the Ph.D. Students should expect the completion of an M.S. degree take two academic years of full-time study.

Chose from thesis (plan A) or non-thesis (plan B) tracks to suit your goals. Master of Science (M.S.) with specialization in Analytics for Large Data Sets The Master of Science (M.S.) in Physics with Analytics for Large Data Sets specialization will prepare students for positions in academia, industry and at national labs.

Students will pursue 15 credit hours of coursework from the analytics and computing areas to include data mining, machine learning, database management, applied statistics and analytics programming.

Accelerated Master of Science (M.S.) The Accelerated Master of Science (M.S.) in Physics with specialization in Analytics for Large Data Sets allows USD undergraduates to apply up to 12 graduate credits toward their B.S. or B.A. program. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Physics grads are invaluable in industries dealing with nuclear energy, electronics, communications, aerospace, medical instrumentation and more.

Program Requirements

The Physics Subject GRE is required for applications to the PhD program.
Note: the Physics Subject GRE requirement is waived due to the pandemic.

The General GRE is required for applications to the Master's program. Applicants to the Accelerated B.A. or B.S./M.S. programs are not required to submit the General GRE. Note: the General GRE requirement is currently waived due to the pandemic.

More information on admission requirements are available. Information on Graduate International Admissions Requirements including Official Proof of English Proficiency are also available.
GRE Requirements: Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

We are a small department focusing on nuclear and particle physics, particularly on the underground research such as that conducted at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF). South Dakota is home to SURF, the US's prime deep underground research facility. Our focus enables us to offer research opportunities at the cutting-edge of nuclear, particle, and astroparticle physics that are comparable to that of a large institution. We typically offer small class sizes and superior opportunities for graduate student/faculty interactions. Our graduate students are expected to develop into skilled researchers through active participation of the faculty’s competitive research programs, which are often externally funded and with large international collaborations.

Students also have ample opportunities to connect with other students at SPS and engage in the rich fabric of campus and community life. Our faculty engage in research that has international interest. We collaborate with researchers from a dozen different countries and offer opportunities for international research activities. Vermillion is host to the National Music Museum, boasts an active community life, and is located about two miles from the Missouri River enabling it to offer a broad range of outdoor recreational opportunities. Vermillion is located an hour away from South Dakota's largest city, Sioux Falls.