A researcher and students working in the UAlbany Optics Lab.

Master of Science 

Computational Physics

Program of Study


In UAlbany's 33-credit MS in Computational Physics curriculum, you will learn to develop models for discrete or continuous physical systems and how to elaborate algorithms, write and test the corresponding codes, and perform relevant data analysis and visualization.

Note: Non-degree students can transfer up to 12 credits to their degree program. MS students can transfer course credits and requirements to the PhD Physics program.

Physics Core Courses (18 credits)

  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Electrodynamics I
  • Quantum Mechanics I
  • Computational Methods;
  • Quantum Information, Computation, and Foundations

Physics Specialization Courses (3 credits)

Sample courses:

  • Electronics
  • Electronics Projects
  • Microprocessor Applications
  • Physics Measurement
  • Optics
  • Intro to Particle Physics
  • Introduction to Neutrino Astronomy
  • Astroparticle Physics
  • Physics of Radiation Therapy
  • Medical Imaging

Computational/Math Courses (9 credits)

Sample Computer Science courses:

  • Bayesian Data Analysis
  • Computational Linear Algebra, Nonlinear Algebra and Optimization
  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Scientific Computing
  • Data Mining
  • Machine Learning

Sample Math courses:

  • Statistics I and II
  • Time Series I and II
  • Modern Computing
  • Topological Data Analysis

Research Requirement (3 credits)

  • Successful defense of a master’s thesis OR
  • Passing an oral examination upon completion of a final project

Additional Information

Course Descriptions:

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact [email protected].


Engage in research projects with faculty members who are leaders in computational physics. Gain experience using innovative simulation tools and programming languages, as well as developing your own code.

You’ll have access to research groups that focus on optics, biomedical imaging, particle physics, astrophysics, cosmology, advanced data analysis and scientific computing. Additional research initiatives are related to experimental work on the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment at Fermilab and the LUX/LZ Dark Matter searches.

You will also have opportunities to submit papers to peer-reviewed journals for publication and present your work at international conferences like the International Workshop on Bayesian Inference and Maximum Entropy Methods in Science and Engineering.


A student conducts research using UAlbany's linear accelerator.
Career Outcomes

From big data analytics to quantum computing, with a master’s in computational physics from UAlbany you will have the expertise to pursue a career in physics research, computer science, engineering and artificial intelligence.

Potential job titles for an MS degree in computational physics:

  • Aerospace Technician
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Modeling Analyst
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Professor

Potential employers include:

  • General Electric (GE)
  • Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL)
  • Global Foundries
  • IBM
  • National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (NERSC at LBNL)
  • Department of Education (DOE)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Google


A researcher and students working in the UAlbany Ion Beam lab.

International Students

This degree is designated as a STEM program. International students maintaining F-1 status are allowed to apply for up to 12 months of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) following completion/graduation from their degree program. Currently, this degree program is also designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as an eligible degree for the F-1 STEM OPT work authorization extension; students who secure qualifying employment may be eligible to apply for the STEM OPT extension for a cumulative total of up to 36 months of F-1 OPT work authorization.

Admission Requirements
  • Fall: Rolling
  • Spring: Rolling
  • Summer: Not Available

There is no departmental assistantship consideration for this program.

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of goals

You should specify your career goals and research interests in the Statement of Goals. This will not be interpreted as a strict commitment on your part to the particular field of study and research.

Available information for International Applicants.

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Master of Science

The educational objectives for UAlbany's MS in Computational Physics are a solid foundation in physics and in effective computer programming.

Upon completion of the program, you are expected to:

  1. Have developed basic competency in classical, quantum and statistical mechanics and in electrodynamics.
  2. Have developed advanced competency in physics topics and have developed research skills.
  3. Know at least two contemporary, pragmatic computer programming languages, including at least one interpreted and one compiled language, deeply, and have experience in collaborative coding and machine learning.
  4. Have experience in code testing and in preparing readable code for publication and archiving code.
  5. Have developed data analysis and/or visualization skills.
  6. Have developed the ability to solve problems in physics by writing computer programs when confronted with unique and original problems.
  7. Be mathematically skilled at developing computational models of applicable real-world questions. This requires acquiring a practical knowledge of the mathematical/physical models to employ plus the computational methods that will enable computers to reach precise/accurate solutions in a reasonable amount of time.