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Professional Science Masters Program in Applied Physics

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There is currently no admission to the MS Applied Physics program or the Professional Science Masters program. Many of the courses offered under these options remain available in the MS Physics program, so please see the MS Physics program for an alternative course of study.

Applied Physics

The Professional Science Masters Program, with a specialization in Applied Physics, combines a physics curriculum with training in business management and communications. Enrollment in Professional MS degrees is rapidly growing across the country as graduates are sought after by high tech businesses. All graduates from the PSM Applied Physics program at OSU are now using their physics and business skills in well-paid industry positions.

PSM Applied Physics main page

OSU faculty members are affiliated with ONAMI and Oregon BEST, which are Signature Research Centers with a strong emphasis on commercialization. OSU's Office for Commercialization and Corporate Development (OCCD) facilitates collaboration between OSU researchers (including students) and industry.

The following profiles tell the stories of four graduates and one current student from the Applied Physics specialization. For information about the Applied Physics curriculum and internships, visit PSM Applied Physics, and visit the Oregon PSM website for lots of additional information, including internships. Applied Physics PSM students go through the program with a cohort from other specializations. For more information about the broader OSU Professional Science Masters program, visit the program's central website.

Jessie McCartney (2012): Jessie has a B.S. degree in Engineering Science with a minor in Physics from Smith College, MA. She worked as Satellite Systems Engineer and an Orbital Analyst for Lockheed Martin in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She enrolled in the Applied Physics program to increase her understanding of the physical universe and to develop her business skills. She is currently doing a computational physics internship at a woman-owned, small-business start-up for which one of the OSU Physics faculty members is a consultant.


Jonathon Shanks (2007): Jon is a graduate of Michigan State University where he earned a B.S. degree in Physics. Jon first learned of the PSM program through an article in a national newspaper. He wanted to work in industry and came to Corvallis to pursue the PSM degree because “I felt the combination of science and business …. would better prepare me for working in industry.” Jon did his internship at Micro Systems Engineering, Inc. in Lake Oswego, Oregon, a company that manufactures implantable heart defibrillators and pacemakers. Reliability is crucial for such products and Jon’s internship project involved accelerated lifetime testing of ceramic capacitors. After receiving the PSM degree at OSU, Jon was hired by Micro Systems Engineering where he now has the position of Component Quality Engineer.


Joshua Mellon (2007): Josh received his B.S. degree in Physics from OSU and entered the PSM program in 2004. His progress toward the degree was interrupted by a tour in the mid-east with the US Army. During this time he maintained contact with OSU faculty by email and on receipt of an Honorable Discharge and Army Commendation Medal, he returned to Corvallis to complete the PSM Program. Josh’s internship was hosted by ViewPlus Technologies, Inc. Josh has a strong interest in business and found his way into ViewPlus’ Financial Department where he developed cost-saving software applications for the company. On graduating from the PSM program, Josh was hired to a full-time position with ViewPlus. While at ViewPlus, he served on the board of the Software Association of Oregon Corvallis Chapter, was a business plan judge for the OSU Austin Entrepreneurship Program, and continued to teach undergraduate physics labs as a volunteer. His roles for his new employer, Blue Ridge Research and Consulting in Asheville, NC, include Manager of Business Operations. Of his jobs, Josh says “I enjoy my work ... because it leverages my talents, challenges me, and offers opportunities for continued personal growth.”


Vincent Cerimele (2007): Vincent is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego where he received the B.S. in Physics. After working in industry for three years, Vincent came to OSU to pursue the PSM degree in Applied Physics. He believes that the combination of science and business course work offers “…. a competitive advantage for working in industry…” Vincent did his internship at ViewPlus Technologies, Inc. in Corvallis, Oregon. ViewPlus is a start-up company that creates and markets technology to provide computer accessibility to the visually handicapped. Company President, Dr. John Gardner, is a member of the Board of Advisors for the OSU PSM program. Vincent worked on next-generation embossing printers. After completing the PSM program at OSU, Vincent accepted a position with ViaSat, Inc. in Carlsbad, California. He is engaged in tests of UHF communication equipment for military satellites. He has also started his own company, Cerimele International.


Lisa Eccles (2006): Lisa received her B.S. in Physics at Linfield College. After coming to OSU, she first explored the Ph.D. program, then decided that the PSM program would better serve her career goals. Because she was interested in semiconductor device physics, her PSM program was “tuned” to include a course in the college of Engineering “Semiconductor Device Fundamentals”. Lisa’s internship experience was at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California where she studied the effect of temperature on light attenuation in fiber optic cables. She also participated in a program review at JPL where she used her PSM training in business and professional communications. On graduation, Lisa was hired by WaferTech, Inc. in Camas, Washington as a Product Engineer, testing the viability of silicon chips and failure analysis. She then moved to a position in process integration engineering. In addition to her physics and engineering courses, she credits the business, communications, and ethics courses of the PSM program with providing “… a broader set of skills to pursue a career in high tech industry.” Lisa returned to research at the Human Spatial Orientation Lab at Oregon Health & Science University, studying balance disorders associated with vestibular (inner ear) dysfunction. She assists with grant writing, coding in LabVIEW and MATLAB in order to create and analyze experiments, recruiting subjects and running experiments, troubleshooting lab equipment issues, and writing up results for publication. She is also an adjunct professor for Oregon Institute of Technology, teaching physics.