Online Master's Degree Programs in Physics

Though most programs in physics are only available on-campus, there are some online programs available in a few different programs in the fields of science and physics. Learn more about the avilability of these programs and the jobs they can prepare you for. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Online Master's Degree Options in Physics Are Available?

If you're interested in earning a master's degree in physics online, you can pursue a master's degree in physics education or in an area of physics that's tied in with the medical and healthcare fields. To be eligible for an online master's degree program in physics, you must have a bachelor's degree with credits that include two years of advanced math, a year of physics and a year of chemistry. An education program is designed for physics teachers who want to further develop their teaching skills or to pursue a more advanced certification.

Degree FieldsMedical physics, radiation health physics, physics education
Program RequirementsOnline didactic courses, in-person residencies, teaching research lab, thesis
Course TopicsRadiation as therapy, physics of time and space, technology in the classroom, radiation in oncology and biology
Career OptionsNuclear engineering, teaching health and safety, diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine
Median Salary (2018)$60,320 (for secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)8% growth (for all secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Does the Online Program Work?

Completing these programs online includes a combination of lab simulations, some clinical experiences and some residencies, depending on the program you've selected. A physics education program may include online didactic courses and in-person summer residencies to build upon your knowledge of physics and develop additional teaching skills. Some of these programs are meant for working teachers who are already licensed. These programs are intended for those who wish to develop new teaching approaches or enhance their resumes.

For an online medical physics program, you'll need to complete labs and clinical experiences at an approved facility near you. Some programs emphasize radiation health physics; these programs train you to work in healthcare or in environmental protection and give you the opportunity to research ways of keeping people safe from the effects of radiation. A radiation health physics program may also require that you participate in a teaching research lab and write a thesis.

What Will I Learn?

Through an online master's degree in physics education, you'll take courses on how best to develop a physics curriculum. You'll study historical scientists, like Galileo and Einstein, as well as learning to teach young students about the physics of time and space. Other education courses cover the history of physics as a science and the methods for incorporating technology in the classroom.

Medical physics programs allow you to conduct research in radiation protection and learn to use radiation to solve health problems. Programs may also cover regulations in nuclear physics and safety in the field. Some topics in medical physics could include:

  • Using radiation as therapy
  • Radiation in oncology and biology
  • Detecting radiation
  • Conducting body scans with radiation
  • Effects of radiation on skin and body

What Are My Career Options?

With a master's degree in physics education, you can continue your current job teaching physics, but it could lead to a pay raise. If you're not certified to teach at the high school level, an online master's degree in physics education can include a secondary school certification, allowing you to advance in your career. With a degree in radiation health physics, you can find a job teaching radiation health and safety. Careers in nuclear engineering may also be available to you. With a degree in medical physics, you could find a career working in nuclear medicine, diagnostic imaging or as a radiation therapist.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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