Master's Degree Programs in Mathematical Physics

Those looking to study in the field of mathematical physics at the master's level should consider US-equivalent master's programs such as applied physics. Ahead you can find an overview of this master's program, including courses and entrance requirements you might expect to find.

Master's in Applied Physics Program Information

Applied physics master's programs can take around 30 credit hours to complete with programs typically requiring some combination of elective and core-concept courses. Some programs also dictate the number of courses required in various applied physics fields; for example, a ten-course program may require one course to be a seminar course, three of those courses to be in the field of advanced mechanics, three courses to be in the field of electrodynamics, and the remaining six in the field of quantum mechanics.

Classical Mechanics

Students in an advanced masters-level course on classical mechanics will generally learn about the different theories, concepts, and terminology in the field, while also tackling theoretical and practical problems in classical mechanics. Topics can include Lagrangian mechanics, Hamiltonian mechanics, nonlinear dynamical systems, Euler's rigid body equations, small oscillations, canonical perturbation theory, symmetries, canonical transformations, Hamilton-Jacobi theory, fluid mechanics, action-angle variables, and more. Students also study the various applications of theories and equations in both practical and theoretical cases.

Quantum Mechanics

This course will typically cover the theories, principles, assumptions, and equations of quantum mechanics. Topics covered in this course can include Schrodinger's equation and the differentiating laws of quantum-level mechanics and classical macro-level mechanics, angular momentum, square-wells and other one-dimensional solutions, Dirac's notation, barriers, harmonic oscillator and operator methods, atomic physics, x-rays, Hilbert spaces, electron spin. This course can also cover potential problems in the current understanding of quantum physics, as well as different theories and explanations for those problems.


Both the classical and semi-classical physics of optics are taught in a course in optics. Students can examine and analyze the geometry of lenses and the relationship between the physical makeup and curvature of optics to the expected interaction with light. Topics often include Ray optics, Gaussian optics, Fourier Optics, ray matrices and formulation, diffraction, radiometry, photometry, electromagnetic theory of light, polarization, fiber optics, physical optical elements, photons and more. Students may also study non-linear optics, chromatic aberrations, and optical instruments such as single-beam and multi-beam interferometers. Students also study the practical application of optics for magnification, image reproduction, laser optics, and the study of light.


These programs are also likely to have a course that delves into the electronic and magnetic properties of matter. Students study the theories of electromagnetism, as well as the various formulas and schools of thought that account for the variables in practical electromagnetics. Topics can also include dielectric properties, magnetic properties, Maxwell's equations, ferroelectrics, ferromagnets, electrostatics, magnetostatics, conductivity, superconductivity, and the examination and study of electromagnetic waves propagated through various mediums such as plasmas, vacuums, physical matter, microwave networks, and antennae. Students also study the real-world application of electromagnetic principles in terms of micro-circuitry and electronics.

Applied Physics Laboratory

Students study photonics, electronics, fiber optics, and a number of other concepts in a laboratory setting through a course such as this. These laboratory courses are often required as part of the curriculum of this degree field and can help students gain a first-hand understanding of the material through demonstrations and practical application of the mathematics and theories discussed in lectures and seminars. Topics for experiments can also include plasma physics, high-frequency circuits, microwaves, integrated circuits, lasers, transmission electron microscopy, and more.

Admission Requirements for Master's Degree Programs in Applied Physics

Prospective students for these programs will need to have a strong background in technical coursework including mathematics and physics during their undergraduate educations. Typically, applicants will need to have already graduated with a bachelor's degree or be in their final stages of undergraduate studies. Generally speaking, applicants to these programs will need to have maintained an undergraduate GPA of about 3.0 or more on a 4.0 scale. GRE scores may not be required, but some schools may consider them as part of the application.

Those interested in gaining academic qualification at the master's level in the field of mathematical physics should consider a master's degree program in applied physics, which is the US equivalent of that degree type. Courses in this degree field include classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, optics, and electromagnetics, with entrance requirements including completion of an undergraduate degree with a strong mathematical background, and a GPA of 3.0 or greater.