Graduate Programs

Four graduate degrees are offered by the Physics and Astronomy Department:

  • Physics, M.S.
  • Physics, Applied Physics Option, M.S.
  • Physics, Computational Physics Option, M.S.
  • Professional Physics, M.S.

Additional information can be found in the CSULB Catalog: Physics and Astronomy.


Please use the following information to apply to a graduate degree in the Physics and Astronomy Department.


The deadline for the Fall semester is generally May 31, and for the Spring semester is October 31. It is at least month earlier for international students. Please check with our advisors and department office. Note that we usually admit Fall cohorts and only on a case by case basis for the Spring.

How to Apply

Apply online at Cal State Apply. No separate application to the department is required.In your Cal State Apply application, your statement of purpose should contain:

  1. your goals beyond the Master's degree (what do you plan to do with the degree), and
  2. what Physics research you would like to pursue in the department if admitted.

Send your personal statement to the graduate advisor (, and have one (1) letter of recommendation sent directly by your references to the graduate advisor. Letters should be on official letterhead, dated, bear the writer's signature and be sent from an official work email address. Letters of recommendation should not be uploaded to Cal State Apply. Contact the graduate advisor if you have issues getting the letters.

Minimal Admission Requirements

  • BS or BA
  • GPA > 2.5
  • No GRE required
  • TOEFL > 550 or >80 (iBT) (for international students)

If you have a Bachelor in a field different from physics please contact the graduate advisor to determine the course of action. If you are interested in the APS Bridge Program, please contact the Bridge Site Advisor.

Program Components

Each program has 3 components:

  1. Core classes that every student has to take (19 units)
  2. Electives (a minimum of 5 or 6 units) chosen in accordance with one of the options: General Physics, Applied Physics, Computational Physics, or Professional Physics
  3. Research performed with one of the faculty (a minimum of 6 units) resulting in a Master's thesis

The minimum number of units required for the Master's degree is 31 units. Students may take more units depending on interest and research foci. Students should first contact the graduate advisor if they intend to take classes not directly related to the Master's degree.

The possibility to do a comprehensive exam instead of the Master's thesis is offered. Students should express their interest early by contacting the graduate advisor.