The Department of Physics offers both the Master of Science (MS) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees, as well as an MS degree in Optics and Photonics Technology. Click on the degrees below for curriculum details. 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, optics, or plasma physics. We offer both thesis- and course-based options. Time required can be as short as 1.5 years for the course-based option. Typical completion time for the thesis option is about 2 years. PhD The highest degree available, the PhD indicates a fundamental understanding of Physics and the ability to perform original research and advance the state of knowledge in a particular field. Master of Science/Optics and Photonics Technology Curriculum A Master of Science degree with an emphasis on optics and management. Thesis option only. Ideal for presently-employed students needing more advanced study in these areas. Physics Master of Science Degree Program Being Revised. Please check back later. Requirements for an MS Degree in Physics There are two ways to get an MS degree in Physics at UAH. The first involves writing a thesis and the second involves taking the Department's Comprehensive Exam. Note that, in additon to the course requirements listed below, a student with either a GRA or GTA must also enroll in PH 792 (Physics Seminar) for each semester they have the assistantship. Optics and Photonics Technology Master of Science Degree Program Program of Study Physics PhD Degree Program Being revised. Please check back later. Clouds of glowing hydrogen gas mingle ominously with dark dust lanes in this close-up of IC1396, an active star forming region some 2,000 light years away in the constellation Cepheus.In this and other similar emission nebulae, energetic ultraviolet light from a hot young star strips electrons from the surrounding hydrogen atoms. As the electrons and atoms recombinethey emit longer wavelength, lower engery light in a well known characteristic pattern of brightspectral lines. At visible wavelengths, the strongest emission line in this pattern is in the red part of the spectrum and is known as "Hydrogen-alpha" or just H-alpha.