Physics is a science that describes the physical world around us. It plays a significant and pivoting role in almost all technological developments and inventions while forming a basis or foundation for several other science areas. It includes the study of anything from movement to sub-atomic particles and relating to the universe’s very existence as a whole. Since the advent of World War II, in particular, Physics has gone on to become one of the most important sciences and continues to drive inventions and innovations in the modern world. Almost everything construed as an ‘object’ has to do with Physics in some way or the other. Read on to find out how you can take up a career in Physics – options, opportunities, and resources that are available today for you to pursue a path with a Master’s in Physics Online Program.

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PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

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Best Masters In Physics Online Programs

Obtaining a Master’s in Physics from the best or one of the best Universities is very important. Top Programs tend to include hand-picked and experienced faculty, hands-on training, workshops, and discussion forums, along with options even to conduct research. All these factors can give you an edge while kick-starting your career in Physics. Since the subject’s scope is far and wide, seasoned tutors are better suited to create a strong foundation, which will eventually and always carry you into the future. Online Programs rely less on brick-and-mortar institutions but have other factors that carry them to the top of the list.

Be that as it may, there is no single Program that qualifies as the best.’ However, we have put together a few of them after carefully weighing their quality, teaching, depth, efficacy, and of course – value for money. Here are the best Physics Graduate Programs:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
503 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Georgia Institute of Technology
225 North Ave, Atlanta, Georgia 30332
Rice University
6100 S Main St, Houston, Texas 77005
University of Southern California
University Park, Los Angeles, California 90089
North Carolina State University
2101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695
Princeton University
1 Nassau Hall, Princeton, New Jersey 08544
Columbia Video Network – The Fu Foundation
West 116 St and Broadway, New York, New York 10027
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
Christopher Newport University
1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News, Virginia 23606
Towson University
8000 York Rd, Towson, Maryland 21252
George Mason University
4400 University Dr, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Oregon State University
1500 SW Jefferson Avenue, Corvallis, Oregon 97331
Rochester Institute of Technology
1 Lomb Memorial Dr, Rochester, New York 14623

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Masters In Physics Online Programs

While Physics, as a subject, may seem and sound rather confined and limited, it is, in reality, a vast subject to understand. A Master’s in Physics Online Program will teach you the basics and fundamentals of the discipline, but further specializations are called for if one has to solve highly complex and critical problems of engineering and the industry. Independent research is at the heart of such a Program and is equally important, if not more, as online lectures, discussions, and practical lessons.

The biggest advantage of an Online Master’s in Physics Program is the ability it presents to stay off-Campus and pace your studies to your liking. Additionally, Online Programs tend to be relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional or standard Programs. There is also the advantage of re-visiting lectures and recapitulating what you have learned, which enlightens the burden for many students and working professionals. What is more – Online Programs are just as effective, in-depth, comprehensive, and recognized as traditional ones.

Masters in Physics Online Degree Types

There are quite a few kinds of Master’s in Physics Online Degrees one can choose from. While fundamentally the same, each degree offers a distinct flavor of Physics and culminates in a niche of its own. Here are a few to consider:

MS Physics Online

The MS Physics online is the gold standard in Master’s Programs in Physics. MS, or Master of Science, in Physics, is a stepping stone for those wishing to pursue their Ph.D., requiring a Thesis or Project Work to be presented during the fag end of the course.

M.Sc. in Physics Online

M.Sc. too, like MS, stands for Master of Science. While MS is more of a professional course, M.Sc. focuses largely on combining knowledge and skills. Those taking up M.Sc. in Physics are generally required to have a B.Sc. (Bachelor’s) in any science subject, whereas MS Physics students can have a Bachelor’s Degree in any stream, not just science.

MA in Physics Online

Master of Arts or MA in Physics is also an option as a credible Master’s Degree. While curriculum-wise, an MS and MA are largely similar, the main difference is that an MA does not mandate a Thesis to be submitted during the course.

Specializations in Master’s Degree in Physics Online Programs

In addition to a Master’s in Physics Online Program, specializations always help further one’s knowledge and open up prospects in niche areas of the related job market. Many Master’s in Physics graduates go on to specialize in a specific area of the domain. Interested students should consider the following Programs:

  • Applied Physics Master’s Degree
  • MS in Engineering Physics
  • Study Theoretical Physics Online
  • Quantum Physics Graduate Program
  • Condensed Matter and Surface Science Physics
  • Heath Physics Master’s Online
  • Radiation Physics Online Course
  • Masters in Plasma Physics
  • Medical Physics Degree
  • Online Astrophysics Master’s Degree
  • Nanotechnology
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Biophysics
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Astronomy and Cosmology

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Masters in Physics Online Programs

The Curriculum of Online Graduate Physics Courses includes hands-on laboratory/practical work and seminar-style courses and lectures. By and large, they cover:

  • Quantum and Statistical Mechanics
  • Electrodynamics
  • Electromagnetic Theory
  • Thermodynamics
  • Solid State Physics
  • Experimental Methods in Modern Physics

Depending on the main course opted for – such as Computational Physics, High-Energy Physics, Material Physics, and such, there are elective courses that one needs to opt for. Some of these include:

  • High-Performance Computing
  • Advanced Simulation and Machine Learning
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • String Theory
  • Semiconductor Materials Physics
  • Surface and Nano Physics

…and a whole plethora of other options, varying from University to University.

Whatever be the chosen course or subject in an MS Physics Program, a Student will graduate with a deeper understanding and knowledge of Physics and its laws, principles, and applications. You will be able to relate to why and how everything around us functions and develop an ability to address complex engineering and technological issues with relative ease. Gaining experience with measurement techniques and equipment while also developing the ability to assess assumptions and uncertainties is what your program would have taught you.

Furthermore, aside from allowing you to step up into a Ph.D. The program, an MS in Physics, will present an array of possibilities in science – from subatomic particles to astronomy.

Accreditation for Masters in Physics Online Programs

Considering the time, effort, and money one would spend on a Master’s in Physics Online Program, it would be prudent to ensure that the degree one obtains value in the job market. Accredited Physics Programs make your degree count and open the gates to high-paying jobs across industries and governmental jobs. Several colleges and Universities invite outside agencies to review and evaluate their educational Programs, showing that they meet certain set standards and expectations, also recognized by industries, markets, and the government.

Although not necessarily demanded by employers, programmatic accreditation can help graduates keen on specialized careers in a particular field. For example, Medical Physicists may be enrolled in a program accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Medical Physics (CAMPEP) to qualify for certification from the American Board of Radiology (ABR).

You can read more about accreditation here.

Timeline for graduation from Masters in Physics Online Programs

Most standard Master’s in Physics Online Programs require up to 2 years or more to complete. Many Universities offer two points of intake – Spring and Fall – and split the Program into Quarters or Semesters. The first year typically covers all the core subjects and teaching of the basics. And the second-year focuses mainly on research and thesis, which is required at the end of the course.

Some Universities offer part-time Programs that take 3 to 5 years to complete. However, it must be noted that in most cases, the Master’s Degree must be completed within five years of starting the program.

While Online Programs offer the flexibility of studying while you are working or pursuing other courses simultaneously, they do have a requirement of being present for a certain number of video lectures, live classes, seminars, and video discussions. All this could affect the time it takes to complete the course. Sticking to the provided schedule will almost always mean speedy graduation.

Masters in Physics Online Programs Admission Requirements

Applying for a Master’s in Physics Online Program is rather simple. Apart from General Entry requirements (Student application and requisite documents), a sound knowledge of written and spoken English is a must, a Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in science subjects. Most Universities look at a GPA of 3.25 or more but do not require GMAT or GRE for enrolling. Tuition information and  requirements vary by universities.

Difference between Physics and Applied Physics

The difference between Physics and Applied Physics is not as much as you would think it would be. Physics, as a Subject, is rather theoretical and explores ways and means of understanding how and why things are and work the way they do while expounding such questions and theories.

On the other hand, Applied Physics is a department of physics that deals with the more practical and technological side of the discipline. It focuses more on developing new technologies and overcoming engineering challenges based on the science of Physics.

Masters in Physics Without Bachelors

Unfortunately, it is quite unlikely for any University to register you for a Master’s in Physics without Bachelors. A Bachelor’s Degree in any Science subject is mandated in the case of M.Sc. Programs and any Bachelor’s Degree is acceptable for an MS Program. Students looking to get a Master’s in Physics without a Bachelor’s degree need to be aware that some might offer such degrees. But in most cases, those programs are not accredited by any reputable organization.

Free Physics Programs

A few sites offer free Physics core courses, but none will allow you to do a free Physics Degree Online, complete with a Graduation Certificate. However, there are several options you could consider if you prefer to test the waters, help you in your current Master’s Program, or are looking to learn something specific in Physics:

MIT Open CoursewareThe Massachusetts Institution of Technology has no less than 40 courses in Physics degree at the Graduate level. Complete Audio/Video Lectures, Textbooks, Notes, and Instructor Insights are available as well.
CourseraCoursera has many popular Universities that have put up Physics-related Courses, broken down into a wide range of topics and sub-topics. But as with most Online Study Portals, a Degree or Graduation is not on offer. Do make a note that Courses are either free or paid, depending on the course creator.
edXedX offers online courses in various topics related to Physics degrees from premium Universities such as MIT, Harvard, Rice University, and Australian National University. Many of these courses can be taken up for free, but a Verified Certificate for each course will set you back by several hundred dollars.

How to Pay for Masters in Physics Online Physics Programs

According to Data USA, a traditional Master’s in Physics Online Program costs from a median of $7,191 (In-State Public Tuition) to a median of $39,558 (Out-of-State Private Tuition) and is growing at over 2.66%. Online Programs are considerably cheaper but still tend to be a huge burden for most aspiring Students. Therefore, it is prudent to explore ways and means of raising funds or seeking waivers. Here are some of the options generally available, depending on where you are and which program you apply to:

Program Funding

Based on certain criteria, a University may offer you incremental or deferred payment options. Details are usually available in the admission handbook or application form.

Scholarships and Awards

Review available scholarships, grants, and awards to identify potential opportunities to fund your program. Full Scholarships or waivers are good ways of mitigating high Tuition

Employer Sponsorships or Reimbursements

If you are a working professional, you could explore your company’s options for education sponsorships. Some companies allow you to work and study and pay for both or reimburse your Fees after completing the program.

Teaching or Research Assistantships

Some Universities may offer Teaching or Research Assistantships that translate to a reduction in fees instead of services rendered to the University. However, Online Programs may not come under the same offer or, if they do – may have certain other criteria to meet.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

Citizens or legal residents of the US should check what FAFSA has to offer.

Read more about financial did on the Best Financial Aid Guide.

Scholarships for Masters in Physics Online Students

Many Universities offer Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships themselves or do so in association with individuals, corporates, and trusts. It is always advisable to go through a University’s handbook before and during application for a Master’s in Physics Online Program and explore the various awards they dole out. Here are a few that we find worth considering:

WHOI Summer Student Fellowship Program

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Summer Student Fellowships are awarded to those having a tentative interest in Ocean Sciences or Oceanographic Engineering. Students will receive a monthly stipend of $650 per week. Application Deadline: February 05, 2023.

M. Hildred Blewett Fellowship

Those working towards a Ph.D. and pursuing a career in Physics are eligible to apply for this grant of $45,000. Application Deadline: June 01, 2023.

Ralph W. Shrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship

Women and Minority Students with a current overall GPA of 3.5 and higher should look at this Scholarship worth $3,500. Application Deadline: April 30, 2023.

Get Educated Online College Scholarship

This is a Fund specifically for online and distant learners, offering them $1,000 in aid. Application Deadline: March 15 & October 15 every year.

FAQs about Physics Programs

While opting for the political science master’s programs, you might have several questions. Keeping that in mind, we have collected some of the common questions asked by many students: Here are some FAQs from Political Science students:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MA in Physics?

MA or Master of Arts in Physics is a Postgraduate Program similar to an MS Degree, with the main difference being that the MA Program typically does not include a Thesis.

What is Applied Physics?

What is MS Physics?

Can you get a Physics degree online?

How much does an online degree cost?

Will I get a job with a degree I obtained online?

Is a Master’s in Physics worth it?

What to do with a Master’s in Physics?

Certifications and Licensing for Masters in Physics Online Graduates

For most roles in Physics, graduates are not required to obtain a License or Professional Certification in addition to their Master’s in Physics Degree Online. However, specific licensure or certifications may be required for specialized fields – for government research or medical physics.

For example, the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM) certifies environmental scientists, endorsing that the candidate is up-to-date on the field’s latest developments. Similarly, those connected to the Nuclear Physics field should preferably be licensed by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S.NRC). Another example is the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) that offers certification for graduates of Health Physics.

Obtaining a Physics Certificate online is the best way to add additional weight to your degree.

Careers and Salary Outlook for Masters in Physics Online Graduates

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of Physicists and Astronomers is projected to grow at 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average. There is ample scope for those opting for jobs with research firms, technological companies, and even teaching. The Median Annual Wage for Physicists in 2019 was $122,850, with the low being $62,470 and a high of $201,990.

Master’s in Physics Online Graduates can pick from a long list of careers, depending on what suits them and in which field they think they can work and earn well. These are just some of the options available:

  • Nanotechnologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Meteorologist
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Metallurgist
  • Materials Science
  • Research Scientist
  • Higher-Education Teacher
  • Astronomer
  • Academic Researcher
  • Technical Author
  • Radiation Protection Practitioner
  • Clinical Scientist
  • Medical Physicist
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Acoustic Consultant
  • Sound Engineer

Other job options are indirectly related to a Master’s in Physics Degree:

  • Data Analyst
  • Natural Sciences
  • Nuclear Engineer
  • Operational Researcher
  • Software Engineer
  • Telecommunications Researcher
  • Clinical Technologist
  • Actuary
  • Patent Attorney
  • Prosthetist or Orthotist
  • Applications Developer

Additional Resources for Physics Professionals

In an area that is spread so far and wide, it is important for graduates of a Master’s in Physics Online Program to stay well connected and networked with fellow Physicists. This presents them with an opportunity to share ideas, debate theories, compare research notes, collaborate, and explore new possibilities. Getting together and staying abreast with new and latest will give rise to better job-prospects and higher pay-packets. Here is a list of resources that will help Physics students and professionals do just that:

  1. CERNCourier – CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) is world-renowned for its work in Physics and all things related to Physics. Every student or working professional of Physics can stay updated with the latest on ‘International High-Energy Physics’ through this website.
  2. ResearchGate – ResearchGate is an online scientific community where students of science can post their research and discuss interesting topics.
  3. TalkPhysics – TalkPhysics is a portal for those teaching pre-19 physics – to share ideas, network, get advice, and generally talk physics.
  4. PhysPort – PhysPort is a go-to place for those teaching Physics and to find resources based on Physics Education Research (PER) to support the teaching of the subject. Obtaining a Physics Certificate online is the best way to add additional weight to your degree.
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