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University of Massachusetts Lowell

Lowell , Massachusetts ,United States

Bachelor of Science in Physics (Astronomy and Astrophysics)

The B.S. in Physics at UMass Lowell is designed to introduce both fundamental and applied aspects of physics. In addition to general physics foundation courses, you can select from a range of technical electives and specialty courses. 

At UMass Lowell, we offer three options, which lead to a wide range of career opportunities.

General Option provides a broad and solid grounding in physics. In addition to 60 credits of required physics courses, you can choose technical elective courses and non-physics electives in any of the engineering fields, computer science, mathematics, biology or chemistry. 
Astronomy and Astrophysics Option focuses on studies of celestial objects and phenomena beyond our planet earth. Specialty courses include optical system design, scientific computing, computerized data-acquisition, image processing and statistical data analysis.
Radiological Health Physics Option involves the study of the effects of radiation and radioactivity on life processes.
All physics majors complete a capstone research project before graduation, which often results in presentations at national professional meetings and/or publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Campus Information


UMass Lowell is located in historic mill city of Lowell, Mass., 45-minutes north of Boston, at the intersections of Routes 495, 93 and 3. The birthplace of Jack Kerouac and the Industrial Revolution, Lowell's history echoes all around you. Former mill buildings and cobblestone streets now add charm to a bustling downtown, steps away from the UMass Lowell campus, which boasts a thriving arts scene, a population rich in cultural diversity, and a flair for festivals.


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Application Processing Time in Days: 30

Minimum English Language Requirements

English Level Description IELTS (1.0 -9.0) TOEFL IBT (0-120) TOEFL CBT (0-300) PTE (10-90)
Expert 9 120 297-300 86-90
Very Good 8.5 115-119 280-293 83-86
Very Good 8 110-114 270-280 79-83
Good 7.5 102-109 253-267 73-79
Good 7 94-101 240-253 65-73
Competent 6.5 79-93 213-233 58-65
Competent 6 60-78 170-210 50-58
Modest 5.5 46-59 133-210 43-50
Modest 5 35-45 107-133 36-43
Limited 4 32-34 97-103 30-36
Extremely Limited < 4 < 31 < 93 < 30

Job Opportunity Potential

Graduates of our Master's program have a bright job future. Our graduates are qualified for and are successful in finding high-level positions in many fields, including the following:

  • Leaders in the nonprofit sector, where they may become managers, supervisors, or directors of a variety of human service and community organizations
  • Specialists in prevention programming and health promotion
  • Program evaluators, grant writers, and strategic planning specialists for a wide range of programs and organizations
  • Policy planners and program developers for local or state governments
  • Educators or educational administrators in settings ranging from preschools to graduate programs
  • Researchers working at university or medical research centers or for government and non-profit organizations
  • Human resource administrators and in the community service, public relations, or foundation giving sides of corporate life

Please note: our program is not designed for students who plan to pursue careers as direct service mental health providers. Most states require licensure for mental health providers, and our program is not designed to address the educational requirements set by most state licensing boards.

PSW Opportunity

3 Years of PSW

Admission Requirement / Eligibility Criteria

First-year students entering in fall 2018 had an average GPA of 3.59 and an average combined Evidence Based Reading and Math SAT score of 1239 (ACT equivalent 26). Along with all other public universities and colleges in the Massachusetts system, UMass Lowell is not using the Writing Score.

Admissions counselors and policy makers are sensitive to the factors that may result in accomplished students having a lower-than-expected GPA or SAT score. The applications of students who don’t meet the standards, but for whom UMass Lowell otherwise seems like a good match, are reviewed individually.

  • You are considered a freshman if you have not taken any post-secondary/college coursework. Your application should include your high school or secondary school records, including results from culminating or leaving examinations. Scores from the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) or the American College Test (ACT) will be required, along with an essay and a letter of recommendation. The CEEB code number for UMass Lowell is 3911. There is also a no-test option for available to freshmen applicants.
  • International freshman applicants may use the no-test option and waive the SAT or ACT and TOEFL or IELTS exams if your secondary institution provides written verification that the means of instruction is in English, you are enrolled in an IB curriculum, attend an American School or are enrolled in a curriculum that leads to Cambridge International Examinations: IGCSE/O-Level and GCE/A level exam. Please note that additional essays are required of freshman applicants who choose the no-test option.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Duolingo or Pearson exam results.

All international applicants are required to submit results of the Duolingo, IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson exams, except citizens of Australia, Canada (except Quebec), United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Guyana and English-speaking countries of Africa and West Indies. You are responsible for making arrangements to take the test. UMass Lowell requires the following minimum exam scores:
Duolingo: First-year applicants: 105. Transfer applicant: 100
IELTS: First-year applicant: 6.5. Transfer applicant: 6.0
TOEFL: All applicants: 79.00
Pearson Test of English: First-year applicant: 61.00. Transfer applicant: 56.00
The UMass Lowell school code for the TOEFL is: 3911
First-year applicants may waive the TOEFL, IELTS exam if their secondary institution provides written verification that the means of instruction is in English, they are enrolled in an IB curriculum, attend an American School or enrolled in a curriculum that leads to Cambridge International Examinations: IGCSE/O-Level and GCE/A level exam.
Applicants for transfer admission may demonstrate English language proficiency by showing they have completed College Writing I & II or English Composition I & II in a U.S. university or college. The minimum grade requirement for each course is a C-.