UPLB has a new postgraduate program after the Master of Science (MS) in Physics was officially approved by the UP Board of Regents at its 1351st meeting on May 21, 2020.
With this, UPLB joins an elite league of less than ten universities in the country to offer the program.
“MS Physics is designed to enhance the physics background of students and develop their skills in performing advanced research,” the program’s prospectus said.
“Depending on the interests of the student, such skills can include proficiency in the analytical exploration of theoretical models, the computational modeling of the behavior and properties of physical systems, or the design and implementation of experiments in the laboratory,” it further indicated.
MS Physics students would have to complete 31 units to finish the program.
Of these, 18 are core courses covering classical mechanics, classical electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics; six are electives from physics and other fields such as engineering, biomathematics, biocomputing, and computer science, to name a few.
One unit is for the graduate seminar; while the remaining six units are dedicated for the thesis.
According to Dr. Chrysline Margus Piñol, an associate professor at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics (IMSP), program development began in 2011 upon the initiative of the late Dr. Oscar Zamora, the then dean of the Graduate School (GS).
Full-blast work in crafting MS Physics took place in 2017 after Dr. Piñol, in her capacity as then director of IMSP from 2013 to 2019, decided to focus first and completed work on strengthening the institute’s undergraduate offerings and research capabilities.
With her were fellow proponents from the Physics Division, namely: Dr. Marvin Albao, Dr. Allan Alinea, Dr. Eduardo Cuansing, Jr., and Dr. Darwin Putungan. Prof. Rolando Panopio of the IMSP-Mathematics Division led the review of the proposal at the level of the institute. Dr. Jose Camacho, Jr., dean of GS, made certain that the proposal received the much-needed support.
Currently, the Physics Division has 17 senior faculty members, including 14 PhD holders, who can serve as potential thesis advisers.
It has research groups in computational physics, materials physics, condensed matter physics, chemical physics, astro-particle physics, quantum physics, and statistical physics.
While a new normal in higher education emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the recruitment of students is now ongoing and plans to hold the first classes for MS Physics are being made.
“We are inclined to follow a hybrid-type implementation of classes. Depending on the current situation of the student, we may provide online resources and consultations, or printed materials to be delivered to them. If ever face-to-face classes will resume, we will make sure that we will observe proper health protocols,” said Dr. Putungan, deputy director of IMSP.
Dr. Allan Abraham Padama, head of the Physics Division, added that preparation for classes is guided by blended learning models, with emphasis on online platforms, materials, assessment tools, discussions, and consultations.
IMSP will accept applications for MS Physics admission until July 6.
The institute targets to begin the program’s first cohort in the First Semester of AY 2020-2021.