A comprehensive interrogation of the universe

The training of a physicist does not define itself in terms of a list of specific subjects, but rather by a set of conceptual tools which have bound together a scientific community for centuries and across a broad spectrum of research activities.

Through a basic training in mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics, the physicist develops an inclination for a quantitative approach to the understanding of physical phenomena, a strong degree of abstraction and the search for common traits of universal problems.

These conceptual tools constitute the specificity of the physics over other scientists. A physicist defines him- or herself much more by the manner with which he/she approaches a problem, rather than the nature of the problem itself. The physics Master’s degree at EPFL is an opportunity to explore for the first time how the tools of the physicist are put to use in one or two fields.

The most outstanding aspect of our Master programme is the involvement of the students in the research laboratories or in the institute of theoretical physics. Practically, each student joins a research group for one day a week.

Naturally, the students can continue their basic training, taking advanced courses in quantum mechanics, statistical physics, field theory, etc. They can also take courses outside of the physics curriculum, in mathematics, chemistry or engineering. The master ends with a 4-month period of full-time research.