The University of Chicago | Graduate Admissions

Master of Science Program in Physical Sciences

Division: Physical Sciences
Degree Type: MS 

Program Description

The Master of Science in the Physical Sciences (MS-PSD) at the University of Chicago is a program designed for students who wish to broaden or deepen their knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences.  It should be especially valuable to those seeking to prepare for further graduate work, including those who wish to prepare for a graduate program in a field outside of their undergraduate major.  MS-PSD students have the opportunity to work with faculty members in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Biophysical Sciences, Chemistry computer Science, Geophysical Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics.  The MS-PSD program allows students, in consultation with the faculty Director, to design programs of study to meet individual student needs.  This flexibility combined with the rigor of the UChicago courses makes the program unique.

Students normally complete the M.S. in Physical Sciences in nine months (three quarters).  The program is administered through the divisional dean of students office and is not directly associated with any departmental PhD program.




Deadline for admissions and financial aid: March 4, 2015

Campus Visits

Campus visits and interviews are not required. 

Degree Objective

Only a MS degree is offered. 

Application Requirements

  1. Application Form
  2. Statement of Academic Purpose
  3. Transcripts: Official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions should be submitted with your application.  
  4. Recommendations:  Three letters of recommendations should be included with your application.
  5. Graduate Record Examinations general test official scores:
    Appropriate GRE subject test strongly recommended if offered.  Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required of most international students.  The University GRE code is: 1832
  6. Application fee

Admissions Decisions

Admissions decisions are released in the spring. No decisions will be given by phone or email. 

Program Requirements

MS-PSD students are required to complete nine courses and a master’s project. The courses are chosen from among courses offered throughout the division. At least four of the courses must be graduate-level courses in a single department or associated with a specific interdepartmental track, such as environmental science, biochemistry/physics, computational methods in physical science, and optics/imaging. To accommodate students who seek to broaden their knowledge of physical science, students may be allowed to take as many as three advanced undergraduate courses in fields outside their undergraduate majors. In all cases the director and the students’ advisers must approve their chosen curricula. For experimentalists a typical master’s project might consist of performing or assisting with a laboratory research experiment, or–for theorists–performing some numerical simulation experiments. Students typically choose their projects in the winter quarter, carry them out during the spring quarter, and summarize their projects’ results in a required master’s paper. 


Costs & Financial Aid

Tuition and fee information is available from the University of Chicago Bursar website.

Limited gift aid is available in the form of partial tuition scholarships for which all admitted applicants are automatically considered. American citizens may apply for loan assistance through the University of Chicago Student Loan Administration.