M.A. Degree

MA Degree

Students in the physics doctoral program may apply for the M.A. degree after completing the requirements listed below. The Department will not consider applications from students who intend to work toward the M.A. degree only. Ph.D. candidates are not required to file for the M.A.

The Master's degree is administered according to the regulations given in the Graduate Division section of the General Catalog. The Physics Department requires a comprehensive examination rather than a thesis; passing the written preliminary exams is considered the comprehensive exam.

The Physics M.A. candidate must complete the following:

  1. Two semesters of academic residence. Academic residence is defined as payment of registration fees and enrollment in at least 4 units in the 200 series courses each semester of academic residence;
  2. Physics 209, 211, and 221A-221B or 19 replacement units of approved graduate coursework, if subject waivers have been granted for prior coursework;
  3. 16 additional elective units of approved upper division and graduate courses; and
  4. pass a comprehensive examination (passing the preliminary exams constitutes passing the comprehensive exam).

Note: the total units required for the M.A. degree are 35 semester units of upper-division and graduate work in physics (or related fields) with an average grade of at least B. Twenty-four of the 35 units must be from 200-level courses completed at Berkeley as a graduate student. Eighteen of the 35 units must represent graduate courses in physics. Neither upper-division courses required in the Physics Major Program nor Physics 290, 295, 299, 301, or 602 may be used to satisfy the 35-unit requirement. No more than one-third of the 16 elective units may be fulfilled by courses graded Satisfactory, and then only if approved by the Head Graduate Advisor.