This program provides each student with a broad, graduate level foundation in applied physics with a focus on two educational tracks: engineering physics and space physics. Laboratory techniques and computational methods are emphasized in all three tracks providing a balanced exposure to experimental and theoretical practices.
Educational Tracks in Applied Physics
The engineering physics track concentrates on AF requirements and problems in the areas of optics, lasers, solid state physics and plasmas. Emphasis is placed on the characterization, design and use of a variety of lasers and optical systems employed as directed energy weapons, pointing, tracking and imaging devices, and in surveillance and counter measure applications.
Space physics studies encompass the variations in the earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere and the subsequent effects on propagation of electromagnetic waves, communications, space operations, and manned space flight.
Students normally enter as a class in September and are scheduled to graduate in March after 18 months. The program is normally six quarters in length. The first two quarters of the program stress foundational physics and mathematics. During the remaining four quarters the student concentrates on applied and specialized courses and pursues research in his or her area of specialization. The research is conducted at AFIT or at the Air Force Research Laboratory under a cooperative research program. Each student must complete an independent study/thesis as well as a significant number of courses in the area of specialization. Flexibility in the program is maintained to take full advantage of the varied backgrounds and abilities of individual students. The specific courses in the curriculum vary depending on the specialization pursued, and the requirements associated with the student’s education code.
Requirements in Applied Physics
In general a student in the Applied Physics program is required to complete at least 48 graduate credit hours for the degree, Master of Science. These 48 credit hours must include the following:
12 credit hrs Independent Study
4 credit hrs Applied Mathematics
8 credit hrs Core Physics
12 credit hrs Applied Physics