A Hybrid Graduate Program in Beam Physics
It is possible to earn Masterís and Ph.D. degrees in physics with a concentration in beam physics through the online VUBeam program. For both degrees the regular requirements for the respective degrees in the Department of Physics and Astronomy apply, with provisions put in place that allow participation partially or entirely online.
Like all M. Sc. degrees in Physics/Astronomy, the Masters degree based on VUBeam requires the completion of 30 credits in appropriate coursework approved on a case-by-case basis, of which at least 16 must be at the graduate level, and the remainder may be upper division undergraduate. It also requires passing of the regular departmental qualifying exam at the Masterís level during the work for the degree. This exam can be administered by a mutually approved local proctor, where such practice is permissible. In other situations, videoconferencing or a visit to MSU will be utilized. The program, with the above caveat, is offered in all states except Arkansas and Maryland.
Credits can be earned through Courses and research, including:
∑ Introduction to Beam Physics (online): PHY 861, 3 credits
∑ Nonlinear Beam Dynamics (online): PHY 961, 3 credits
∑ Particle Accelerators (online): PHY 962, 3 credits (may be taken twice)
∑ US Particle Accelerator School (USPAS, available twice per year as two-week block courses): PHY 963, 3 credits (may be taken repeatedly)
∑ Seminar in Beam Physics Research: PHY 964, 3 credits (may be taken repeatedly)
∑ Up to 9 transfer credits in courses relevant to the topic taken elsewhere, upon case-by-case approval from the department
Up to 10 credits for a Masterís thesis under supervision of MSU faculty or through a suitable external mentor at a university or national laboratory near the studentís location as determined on a case-by-case basis.
Like all Ph.D. degrees in Physics and Astronomy, the Ph.D. degree based on VUBeam requires passing of four subject exams in core areas of Physics with a grade average as spelled out by departmental rules. Students take the same exams as local MSU students and can acquire the respective knowledge through self-study or through participation in equivalent courses at nearby universities. Some of the material can also be covered through special courses in PHY964, the seminar in beam physics research. The four exams are the same as those given at MSU, but can be administered by a mutually approved local proctor, where such practice is permissible. In other situations, videoconferencing or a visit to MSU will be utilized.
Like for any Physics Ph.D., a central element is the completion of a Ph.D. dissertation under the supervision of MSU faculty via teleconferencing along with occasional visits to MSU, or, where such practice is permissible, via existing MSU adjunct faculty or a mutually agreed upon mentor at a university or national laboratory near to the studentís location. The program, with the above caveat, is offered in all states except Arkansas and Maryland.
After sufficient expertise in the underlying methods are acquired by the student through completion of the VUBeam Masterís program and the above courses, a dissertation proposal is developed jointly between MSU faculty, possible external mentors where permissible, and the student, and a guidance committee which monitors the studentís progress is installed following common departmental practice. Meetings with the guidance committee can be performed by videoconference without the need of the studentís physical presence on the MSU campus. All doctoral students must register for and successfully complete a minimum of 24 credits and no more than a total of 36 credits of doctoral dissertation research (course number 999). Combining this with the number of credits needed for the Masterís degree through the VUBeam program, a minimum number of 54 credits is required for completion of the program.