Apr 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Physics Department


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges & Schools

Graduate Coordinator: Joel Sander, Ph.D.

Chair: Yongchen Sun, Ph.D.

Physics Program
Akeley-Lawrence Science Center, Room 201
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-677-5649

physics@usd.edu
www.usd.edu/physics 

FACULTY

Professor:

Dongming Mei, Ph.D., University of Alabama. Specialization: Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics, and Astroparticle Physics.

Associate Professor:

Jing Liu, Ph.D., Technical University of Munich. Specialization: Nuclear and Particle Physics.
Joel Sander, Ph.D., University of California-Santa Barbara. Specialization: Nuclear and Particle Physics.
Yongchen Sun, Department Chair, Ph.D., Montana State University-Bozeman. Specialization: Laser Spectroscopy and Condensed Matter Physics.
Wenqin Xu, Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles. Specialization: Nuclear and Particle Physics, Neutrino Physics.

DEGREE

Master of Science   

         SPECIALIZATION

                 Analytics for Large Data Sets

Accelerated Master of Science, Plan A only - Analytics for Large Data Sets   
Doctor of Philosophy   

Program Description

The graduate programs in physics will prepare students for a variety of career paths, including positions in academia, industry and at national labs. While degree candidates may pursue specialized research foci based on the research expertise of individual faculty members, the most significant goal of the program is to focus on research areas germane to the needs and special resources of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF). Examples of specialized research areas connected to SURF include nuclear/particle physics and particle astrophysics involving next-generation neutrino detection; double beta-decay, dark matter searches and gravitational wave detection experiments, as well as condensed matter physics concentrating on novel low background radiation materials and devices.

WICHE Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) eligible program. 

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  1. Completed Graduate Application form found at: https://www.usd.edu/graduate-school/apply-now and a non-refundable application fee of $35.
  2. Official transcript(s) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit (in English or with translation) must accompany an application. Official transcripts of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels are required for international students. The USD Graduate School and/or academic units retain the right to require credential evaluations from organizations, such as Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES), for a student if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
  3. Applicants to the master’s program must have completed a baccalaureate in physics, although applicants with baccalaureate or graduate degrees in closely related fields may be considered. Applicants to the doctoral program will be considered with either an undergraduate or master’s degree in physics. Baccalaureate degree must be from an institution with institutional accreditation for that degree. A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 on conferred degree and/or graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework is required for full admission. We may admit students on provisional status per university policy.
  4. Applicants with degrees from countries other than the United States who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institutionally accredited American college or university or from an accredited institution in the following English-speaking countries: United kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada (Excluding Quebec), Australia, and New Zealand are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. For all other applicants, a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT), 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), 8.5 on the TOEFL Essentials, 6.0 on the IELTS Academic, or 53 on the PTE is required for graduate admission. 
  5. Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose or goal statement.

Additional Program Admission Requirements:

  1. The General GRE is required for the master’s program. Applicants to the Accelerated B.A. or B.S./M.S. program are not required to submit the General GRE. The Physics Subject GRE is required for the doctoral program. *The General GRE and Physics Subject GRE are temporarily not required through spring 2024.  
  2. Three (3) professional letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from the student’s parent institution.

With permission of the graduate program, those who have not completed an undergraduate or master’s degree in physics may be admitted on a provisional basis. Students must complete coursework in the foundational areas of E&M, Classical Mechanics/Thermodynamics and Quantum Mechanics or demonstrate competence in those areas through some other mechanism prior to enrolling in graduate courses for which one or more of these undergraduate courses are prerequisites.

SCHOLARSHIPS

A limited number of graduate assistantships are awarded each year on a competitive basis to fully admitted, full-time, on-campus M.S. and Ph.D. students. For full consideration for a graduate assistantship, the priority deadline is February 1.

Application Deadline

  • Fall start
    • Priority Deadline: February 1
    • Final Deadline: Three weeks before the start of the semester
  • Spring start
    • Final Deadline: Three weeks before the start of the semester

Student Learning Outcomes for Physics (M.S.)

  1. Students will demonstrate that they gain the field-specific knowledge expected of graduates of a graduate physics master’s program.  
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to synthesize their field-specific knowledge base to address pertinent questions in their field.   
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to give clear presentations.   
  4. Graduate students will exhibit academic and professional integrity as they demonstrate an understanding of the importance of low background radiation detection underground science to the state of South Dakota.

Student Learning Outcomes for Physics (Ph.D.)

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to synthesize their field-specific knowledge base to address pertinent questions in their field.  
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to give clear presentations.     
  3. Graduate students will exhibit academic and professional integrity as they demonstrate an understanding of the importance of low background radiation detection underground science to the state of South Dakota.

Programs

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges & Schools