5 Best Online Master of Physics Graduate Schools

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Updated: March 13, 2024, Reading time: 10 minutes

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An online Master of Physics can help improve your qualifications for more specialized and advanced roles as a computer scientist, medical scientist, biophysicist, and more.

A physics program can be extremely challenging, dealing with specialized areas like quantum mechanics, astrophysics, astronomy, mathematical physics, and more. However, an undergraduate physics degree is also a rewarding field, especially if you dedicate most of your time to studying and doing research.

Quick audio summary:


Although it seems limited and confined as a subject, physics education is a very massive area to understand. With a master’s degree in physics, you will learn not only the fundamentals of the area. The courses in a science education program will focus on specializations that provide you with ample knowledge on solving highly critical and complex problems of engineering.

In the online master’s program, independent research is crucial and is just as important as discussions, practical lessons, and online lectures.


Getting a Physics master’s degree from the most notable colleges and universities can sometimes get overwhelming because of the numerous options! And since the MS Physics program is of a very wide scope, some students tend to forego their dreams of obtaining the degree especially if they are already busy with their professional careers.

We help you make that decision with our list of the top Master of Physics graduate programs from the country’s top graduate schools! These features make them ideal for students seeking graduate-level knowledge and qualify for top-level research- or application-focused career options:

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Best Online Master of Physics Graduate Schools

Best Online Master of Physics Graduate Schools

Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Masters in Materials Science and Engineering

Materials science and engineering deal with how materials should be made more advanced to use in practically every product we have today: from medical devices to smartphones. Students who complete this field explore the performance, structure, and possible applications of different materials.

This is a 32-credit hour program, but covers so many core areas including:

Did You Know?

Arizona State University is proud of its committed department faculty members to help you complete the programs you join. Faculty milestones include:

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina

Online Master of Nanoengineering

This master’s degree is suitable for those with an undergraduate degree in engineering who plan to enroll in classes to obtain a graduate degree in nanoengineering.

The program has 12 credit hours in core courses and 6 credit hours for technical elective courses. The school will equip students with a strong background in nanotechnology and nanoscience for the development of the latest products and procedures. However, students should have a bachelor’s degree in Science (physics or chemistry) from an accredited institution prior to enrolling in this research program.

Did you Know?

NCSU’s online graduate school accepts international applicants, but they must take the IELTS or TOEFL exams unless they have completed at least one year at any university in Canada, Great Britain, or the US.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon

Online MS in Radiation Health Physics

The Department of Nuclear Science at Oregon State University offers the Radiation Health Physics program. This is for students who want to secure a career involved in radiation, radioactive materials, and nuclear energy. This Radiation Health Physics profession plays a crucial role in society as this provides several benefits through national defense, energy security, industrial competitiveness, medical health, and other related fields.

The school offers teaching assistantships and competitive research and fellowships for incoming online graduate students. Plus, the National Academy for Nuclear Training Support, and the US Department of Energy offers several fellowship programs every year for the qualified student.

Did you know?

Oregon State University is just one of the eight participating online universities where a student can attend graduate school on the Nuclear Engineering, Health Physics education research, and Applied Physics fellowship offered by the US Department of Energy.

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, New York

Online MS in Imaging Science

This master’s degree program is about the introduction and system approach to imaging science. Students taking this course should have a solid background in engineering. Upon completion, career opportunities will open further in the field of product development, research, or management in the imaging industry.

The college offers a thesis or non-thesis option. What’s amazing about this master’s degree is that you can have your research thesis completed at the place where you work. Plus you can set aside your worries about the tuition and fees because completion of the program can either be on a full-time or part-time basis.

Did you know?

One of the admission requirements of this school is that a student should hold a bachelor’s degree in calculus-based physics, mathematics, and the like. Prior to enrolling, students are assumed that they have basic knowledge of common computer programs.

Johns Hopkins University

John Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

Online MS in Applied Physics

There are only a few online schools offering a master’s degree in applied physics, and one of them is Johns Hopkins University. This applied physics master’s degree is perfect for students who want to improve their education experience as engineering professionals. This master of science program also prepares students for future careers in the development of the latest in technology.

Some of the core courses in the program include mastering mathematical methods used in different fields of engineering and applied physics, establishing a strong understanding of classical mechanics and statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, statistical physics, solid-state physics, and solving problems through Maxwell’s equation.

Did you know?

At Johns Hopkins University, at least 78% of the student’s tuition and fees are taken care of by employer contribution programs.

The Different Types of Master’s in Physics Online

Fundamentally, all master’s programs in physics are the same. However, there are different types of physics master’s that provide a specific ‘flavor’. Here are some to consider:

MS Physics is the gold standard in the master’s in physics program. For those who have physics degrees, this is the stepping stone toward a Ph.D. or those who want to be a part of the teaching staff of a college. This physics master’s requires a Project Work or a Thesis to be presented upon completion of the program.

M.Sc. in Physics (Master of Science) largely focuses on combining your skills and knowledge. Both the M.Sc. and MS programs have similar degree requirements. The M.Sc., however, requires an undergraduate of any science subject, while the MS can have a bachelor’s degree in any stream.

MA in Physics (Master of Arts) is another option for a physics master’s. In terms of curriculum, both the MA and MS are similar. What differs is that the MA doesn’t require a thesis.

Paying for Master’s in Physics Online Program

Online programs have less tuition than on-campus courses. Still, no matter how meager the tuition is, a master’s program is not cheap at all. Here are some options available for an online student, although the tuition and fee digits will largely depend on the program and the school you wish to apply to.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Physics graduate programs worth it?
Are Physics graduate programs worth it?

Our world is surrounded by physics. This is a key science towards advancing what all of us already know and understand. An MS Physics degree helps make the latest inventions and innovations possible. Besides, the labor statistics say a career in physics is very lucrative.

What can you do with a Master’s in Physics Degree?

Having a master’s in physics opens up a lot of career potential– from a sound engineer to a metallurgist to a data analyst, or even teaching physics. The field of operation you choose will depend on your interests. You can enter research, engineering, or even teaching. Industries that need physics graduates include nanotechnology, manufacturing, health and medicine, telecommunications, and many more.

What is the career and salary outlook for MS Physics Graduates?

The US BLS said that the overall employment of astronomy majors and physics graduates is said to grow by 5% between 2022 and 2032. The median annual salary for physicists was $139,220 in 2022, with a high of $181,510 and a low of $63,390.

Key Takeaways

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