Natural Science (Physics), MNS

At a Glance: program details

This interdisciplinary program offers practical pedagogy with an emphasis on the modeling method of instruction as well as strong content in both contemporary physics and integrated science.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MNS Natural Science (Physics)

The MNS program in physics offers transdisciplinary graduate training in physics, physical science or physics education. The program is especially suited for in-service high school science teachers who desire professional training rather than pursuit of a research-based degree.

Designed for flexibility, the curriculum also features individualized professional graduate programs. These programs are well suited to the backgrounds and goals of students. Students are expected to emphasize coursework in two or more areas of concentration. The program must be transdisciplinary.

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 30 credit hours including the required applied project course (PHS 593)

The graduate advisor and the student suggest three faculty members who reflect the transdisciplinary nature of the program to serve on the supervisory committee. With the recommendation of the chair of the Department of Physics, the committee is appointed by the vice provost for the Graduate College soon after the student has been admitted to the degree program.

After conferring with the student, the supervisory committee recommends the plan of study. The committee may require additional coursework to ensure proficiency, depending on the student's background and the nature of the proposed program. In some cases, undergraduate courses may be required to overcome deficiencies.

Teachers may enroll in these courses to earn credit toward recertification or to pursue a Master of Natural Science degree. These courses are held during the summer. Depending on teacher interest, they may be offered at other times. For some courses, the prerequisites are two semesters of trigonometry-based college physics and an introductory calculus course.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. The program is open to in-service high school teachers who have completed two semesters of college physics and an introductory calculus course. Underprepared teachers can make up deficiencies in regularly scheduled courses. Students must be able to attend classes in person at the Tempe campus.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  3. two letters of recommendation
  4. personal statement
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

The letters of recommendation should be from individuals familiar with the applicant's work or studies that are relevant to the natural science program.

Conditions for admission are the availability of resources for the proposed program and having a Department of Physics faculty member designated to serve as a graduate advisor.

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Career Opportunities

Graduates possess deeper understanding of physics and related subjects, both conceptually and pedagogically. They are better prepared for teaching physics and other related subjects, and they may be qualified to teach dual enrollment courses in physics or related subjects, such as chemistry.

Program Contact Information

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