M.S. Physics, Entrepreneurship Track
“First Principles Thinking” Applied to Innovation & Entrepreneurship
For 18 years, the award-winning Physics Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) has empowered individuals who have degrees in physics and engineering to be innovators and entrepreneurs. The curriculum is flexible and can be tailored to your needs. Core courses include graduate-level science, technology innovation, intellectual property commercialization, and finance. Nearly one-third of the program is experiential learning where you will work as a paid intern or employee within an existing company or entrepreneur with your own venture. This experience will generally serve as the basis for your master’s thesis.
Each year’s PEP cohort is small (3 to 5 new students), which enables significant personal attention from faculty and mentors in crafting and realizing your goals. PEP will connect you with mentors, advisors, partners, funding sources and job opportunities, as well as help you build a network that will last a lifetime.
The duration of the program is 1.5 to 3 years.
Jobs, Careers, Salaries
Many PEP students receive job offers from the company with which they intern—often before graduation. PEP graduates currently work for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100 in diverse industries such as energy, healthcare, manufacturing, IT, entertainment, and aerospace. Job titles include CEO, COO, CTO, VP of Sales, Director of Product Development, Program Manager, Project Manager, Chief Scientist/Engineer, Chief Technologist, Director of Professional Services, Integrated Services Engineer, Project Coordinator, Business Development Associate, Technology Management Associate, and Executive Director.
According to a survey by the National Professional Science Master’s Association, the average salary of all PEP alumni was approximately $80,000 in 2009. Initial salary offers for graduating PEP students range from $40,000 to $80,000, however this depends very heavily on the goals of the student: For instance, some of our students opt for a lower paying position in a new venture in order to immerse themselves in the start up culture, with the ultimate goal of starting, growing and selling their own company, while other students feel more comfortable with a higher paying job in a more established firm.
Several PEP alumni have successfully started their own company, or were part of a startup team that created a profitable company. Other options after graduation include PhD, MBA, MD, or JD. Several PEP graduates have gone on to graduate from CWRU’s acclaimed PhD program in Industrial Imaging Physics.
How do I get accepted?
You must have the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree in a field related to physics (e.g., physics, engineering physics, and most engineering fields). The admissions committee strongly considers quality of previous education, grades, recommendation letters, personal statement, GRE scores, and passion for innovation/entrepreneurship. For domestic applicants, GRE is NOT required but is recommended for scholarship consideration. International applicants must have a TOEFL above 100 and GRE above 152(V), 152(Q), and 3.5(W). For international applicants who have a TOEFL between 90 and 100, please ask about our option to enroll as a “Plan B” MS candidate. Applications must be submitted by March 26 in order to be considered for scholarships. Classes begin in late August.
A majority of our applicants qualify for a teaching assistantship and/or scholarship that ranges from 33% to 50% tuition. When considering tuition, living expenses, and salaries from internship and job, a typical PEP student with a 33% scholarship will nearly break even financially over a 3-year period, while students with a 50% scholarship will have a net gain. Please contact the program director for more details.