Chemistry-Physics Masters Program

The Chemical Physics program focuses on original and significant research.  As a consequence,  only students who seek a Ph.D. degree are admitted to the program.  The information on this page is for the small number of students who stop their studies without completion of a Ph.D.

M.S. Degree with Thesis

The student must have a minimum residence of two semesters at The Ohio State University with completion of at least 30 semester hours of graduate work, including credit for research. Course work must be at the 6000-9000 level (6000 or above outside the Physics and Chemistry Departments), and the courses must be acceptable to the Chemical Physics Graduate Studies Committee and the student's advisor, and must include the core courses listed in the Doctoral program. The student's course program should be decided in conjunction with the thesis advisor.

Students will carry out a research program that will culminate in the writing of a thesis. The research program should be initiated as s oon as possible after pr eceptor selection.

At least two weeks prior to the date proposed for conferring the M.S. degree, the candidate must pass an oral examination before a committ ee, approved by the Graduate Studies Committee Chairperson and composed of at least three Chemical Physics faculty (including the advisor, and must include one member from chemistry and one member from physics). All Graduate School deadlines must be met in order to receive the M.S. degree. Should the graduate record of the candidate be wholly satisfactory to the examining committee, the scope of the examination will be confined to the candidate's field of specialization.

M.S. Degree without Thesis

The following provision is made for granting a terminal Master's degree only without the necessity of completing a thesis. Upon application by the student, he/she must have satisfied the course requirements above for the Master's degree, passed the IOE at level III (see ChemPhys Ph.D. program requirements) and successfully completed both the written and oral portion of an exam comparable to the General Examination (see ChemPhys Ph.D. program requirements).

The course requirements may be divided into two categories: i) core requirements and ii) elective requirements.

Core Areas

Each student must satisfy each of the following three core requirements for a total minimum of 5 full semester-equivalent courses.

Letters in parenthesis indicates semester normally offered: (Au)=autumn; (Sp)=spring; 1, 2 indicates half-semester courses.

Quantum Mechanics

Chemistry 6510 (Au-1), 6540 (Au-2), 7520 (Sp)

Physics 7501 (Au), 7502 (Sp), 7503 (Au)

Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics/Kinetics

Chemistry 6520 (Au-1), 6530 (Au-2), 7550 (Sp), 7540 (every other year)

Physics 7601 (Au), 7602 (Sp)


Chemistry 7530 (every other year)

Physics — Depending on topic 8804.XX may satisfy this requirement.

If the student does chemical research, the Safety Seminar, Chem 6781, must be taken.

To fulfill the core requirement in each area the student may take the appropriate courses in either department (but not both). These courses will normally be taken during the student's first year of enrollment (except for Physics 7503).

Chemistry 6550, 7570

Physics 880X.X

Special Topics of Current Interest

Chemistry 8599, 8699

Physics 6810, 6820


Appropriate Math courses at the 4000 level or above, e.g., Math 4512, 4551, 4552, 4557, 4568, Phys 7701


Physics 7603

Whether some of these courses will be taught Autumn or Spring semester has not been settled yet by the Departments, and the advanced special topics courses are likely to remain variable.

Overall the student must complete the equivalent of 3 full semester courses of these elective requirements, with at least one of these being completed within the first year. Credit in the core areas in excess of 5 semester courses may be applied to fulfill up to 2 of the 3 course elective credit requirements. However, for the Chemical Physics degree, a student must accumulate a total of at least 2 full semester-equivalent courses in each of the Chemistry and the Physics Departments. ChemPhys8880—Frontiers in Spectroscopy, taken for a letter grade, will count as one elective.

Integrated Oral Examination

The IOE is given on an individual basis, but will normally be taken at the end of Spring Semester or the beginning of Summer Semester of the student's first y ear. At this point, the student should have completed most of the course requirements listed above. The IOE shall be administered by 3 Chemical Physics faculty members appointed by the Graduate Studies Chairperson and will test the depth and integra tion of understanding of the student's knowledge in the core Chemical Physics areas as indicated abov e and in selected other areas of the student's specialization. The examination shall be oral. In the case of an overall ambiguous performance, the committee can require a second, written examination.

Sample Plan

A sample plan for courses to take during graduate school.

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