Physics - M.A.

CIP Code


The MA (non-thesis) program in Physics at Fisk University seeks to prepare its students to be successful in any area requiring knowledge of advanced physics. Student preparation includes a variety of experiences, all of which are aimed at creating well-rounded critical thinkers. The program is built on a combination of formal course work, laboratory training and active graduate-level research. The program illustrates the mission of the University through emphasis on physics and interdisciplinary research. The program’s goal is to provide research activities and courses in physics and related areas to allow graduate students to be able to successfully enter Ph.D. programs or careers in the sciences.

Students who complete the M.A. program in physics will:

  1. Be able to demonstrate scholarship in the three fundamental areas of physics (classical mechanics, electrodynamics, and quantum mechanics) orally as well as in writing;
  2. Be able to do independent research, consistent with a Master’s level of training;
  3. Be able to present their own research at conferences.
  4. Produce a quality Master’s thesis containing publishable work; and
  5. Be prepared to enter the workforce as a quality job candidate if they so choose.


Appropriate preparation for admission to the graduate program in physics includes completion of a minimum of 20 semester hours of prior study in physics, including courses equivalent to Fisk’s PHYS 130 and PHYS 140, University Physics I and II; PHYS 231, Introduction to Modern Physics; PHYS 262, Heat and Thermodynamics; PHYS 341, Intermediate Mechanics; and PHYS 352, Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism. Advanced undergraduate courses in light and quantum mechanics also are recommended. An undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a four-point scale) or equivalent is also expected. Students who do not possess all of these qualifications may, upon consultation with the faculty, be required to complete the needed undergraduate courses as soon as possible. Such students usually require a longer time to graduate, and may need to enroll as a graduate in “conditional standing” or as graduate special students.

Requirements for the MA Degree (non-thesis):

CORE Physics Courses

Graduate students pursuing the MA degree in physics from Fisk University must complete the following core courses, in addition to electives relevant to the student’s research:

PHYS 541Advanced Dynamics


PHYS 542Nonrelativistic Quantum Mechanics


PHYS 552Electromagnetic Theory


The remaining didactic graduate course credits are made up of elective courses in a thematic area relevant to the Master’s thesis research of the trainee, upon the advice of their research mentor and the Director of Graduate Studies in Physics (see list of courses under MS degree).