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Washington State University Factsheets

Master of Science in Physics

Faculty working with Students: 32
Students: 2
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 100%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall January 10
  • Pullman: Yes
Tests required:
  • 7.0 IELTS substituted for TOEFL Minimum score
  • 80 TOEFL IBT or 214 TOEFL Computerized

Degree Description:

The Department of Physics and Astronomy master’s program at Washington State University is designed to produce leaders in industry, in academia, and at national laboratories. The department’s progressive environment seeks to provide an atmosphere that fosters intellectual growth and quantitative reasoning. The program engages students in teaching and research activities that provide the skills, knowledge, and ability for critical thinking that will enable them to be productive members of society. In the process, our goal is to lay the foundations for technological advances that improve our quality of life.

Student Learning Outcomes:

All graduates will be able to:

    1. Have the preparation to pursue successful careers in industry, government, and university.
    2. Conduct physics and astronomy research in industry, national laboratories, and academia in collaborative environments.
    3. Have the training to provide leadership and expertise at local, state, national and international levels for the improvement of physics graduate education.
    4. Be sensitive to issues of diversity and be able to integrate this sensitivity into their respective professional roles.
    5. Be effective in consultation, communication, and human relations skills across professional contexts.

Student Opportunities:

While the Department of Physics and Astronomy conducts research in the traditional areas of physics, it has enhanced its program by focusing on three areas of research excellence: Astrophysics, Extreme Matter, and Materials and Optics. Astrophysics seeks to answer some of the most basic questions about the universe and space-time and is in high demand from the students. Materials and Optics, and Extreme Matter are at the forefront of important technological advances. These research areas are supported by two WSU research units, the Center for Materials Research (CMR) and Institute for Shock Physics (ISP) as well as unique regional facilities such as the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory (LIGO.

Career Opportunities:

Engineering positions at Boeing and Lockheed Corporations; NASA; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Schweitzer Engineering, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Career Placements:

Senior computer scientist; science historian; staff scientist in applied research; meteorology; space industry; fiber optics; oceanic exploration

Faculty Members:

Allen, Michael L, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair of graduate committee

Blume, Doerte, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Developing a bottom-up understanding of quantum mechanical systems in terms of a few key parameters.

Bose, Sukanta, Ph.D.

Brozik, James, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Biophysics, Material Science, Biosensors, Instrument Design and Fabrication.

Cerruti, Nicholas Robert, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair of graduate committee

Clays, Koen, Ph.D.

Research Interests


Collins, Brian, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Organic Electronics. Optoelectronic properties of organic materials. Resonant X-ray techniques as they relate to solar cells, transistors, batteries, sensors. Nano-mesoscale structures. Film formation and the origins of emergent optoelectronic properties.

Collins, Gary Scott, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Research Interests

– Application of nuclear methods to study the local structure of solids.
– Enthalpies of formation and migration of point defects such as vacancies (unoccupied lattice sites) and antisites (atoms on wrong sublattices) in metals and compounds, through application of perturbed angular correlation spectroscopy (PAC).

Dexheimer, Susan Lynne, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Dickinson, J Thomas, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Duez, Matthew, Ph.D.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the dynamics of hot nuclear matter in strongly curved spacetime. Most of my published work concerns black hole-neutron star binary mergers, which are potentially important sources of gravitational waves, kilonovae, short duration gamma ray bursts (GRBs), and r-process elements.

Eilers, Hergen, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Understanding optical properties of materials and developing related applications, including nanophase enhanced optical devices.

Engels, Peter W, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Forbes, Michael, Ph.D.

Gu, Yi, Ph.D.

Gupta, Yogendra M, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Hawreliak, James

Serves as: member only of graduate committee

Kuzyk, Mark G, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Lynn, Kelvin G, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Research Interests

Radiation detectors, positron studies including variable energy beams, crystal growth, defects in semiconductors and metals; photovoltaic materials; thermal stimulated spectroscopies.

Lytel, Richard Saul, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Theoretical high energy physics

Marston, Philip L, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

McCluskey, Matthew D, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Mendell, Greg, Ph.D.

Perez-Moreno, Javier, Ph.D.

Raab, Frederick, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Astrophysics and Gravitational Waves

Saam, Brian, PhD

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Optical Spin Polarization and Magnetic Resonance

Thiessen, David, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair of graduate committee

Research Interests

Fluid Mechanics of Drops, Bubbles, and Capillary Channels, Applications in Microgravity

Tomsovic, Steven L, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair of graduate committee

Worthey, Guy, Ph.D.

Yoo, Choong-Shik, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Extreme materials research at the pressure-temperature conditions of the Earth’s and Jovian planetary interiors; Discovery and characterization of new and novel materials formed under high pressure.

Contact Information:

Robin Stratton
PO Box 642814
Pullman, WA 99164-2814
(509) 335-7816