Master of Science This degree denotes a much deeper understanding of the major areas of Physics, as well as one or more subspecialties such as astrophysics or optics. We offer both thesis- and course-based options. The time required can be as short as 1.5 years for the course-based option. The typical completion time for the thesis option is about 2 years. Within the thesis option, we offer the Optics and Photonics Curriculum, which is ideal for presently-employed students needing more advanced study in these areas. PhD This is the terminal degree in physics and indicates a fundamental understanding of physics and the ability to perform original research and advance the state of knowledge in a particular field.