M.S. Physics, Entrepreneurship Track

We are looking for unique people who...

  • want to solve real-world problems
  • love innovation
  • want to step outside of research
  • are looking for a program with a flexible curriculum

Paid Internship ➜ Master’s Thesis

At least one-third of the 4-semester Physics Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is experiential learning, where you are expected to work as a paid intern or employee within an existing company or as an entrepreneur with your own venture. This experience will generally serve as the basis for your master’s thesis.

About CWRU Physics

The CWRU Department of Physics is home to world-renowned research in the areas of quantum devices, spintronics, nanoscale materials, biophysics, medical imaging physics, medical devices, industrial physics, liquid crystals, polymers, and particle/astrophysics. We were the first physics department in the US to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics, and the department now counts four Nobel laureates among its alumni and former faculty.

Why Physics I&E?

First, Innovation & entrepreneurship (I&E) are baked into our campus culture (see think[box] video below and the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship). Second, physicists are exceptional problem solvers. The result: a Physics Entrepreneurship Program that has been going strong for over 20 years.

Is the program affordable?

Tuition is about $60,000. That's a lot. Fortunately, we are able to offer a limited number of fellowships that range from 33% to 66% tuition waiver. This can be combined with other funding such as CWRU’s Graduate Student North Star Award (i.e., PEP fellowship + North Star = 100% tuition waiver). To be considered for a fellowship, a completed application must be received by March 20. Fellowship award decisions are made by April 15. Please contact the program director for more details.

Mentorship & Network

Mentorship has been the foundation of PEP since its inception 21 years ago. In addition to providing a faculty mentor who has vast knowledge of I&E, we help you find the right industrial or entrepreneurial mentor outside of academia.

Our cohorts are typically 3 to 5 students. This means that you will receive significant personal attention to help you formulate and achieve your goals, while building a network of peers, alumni, faculty, and industry connections that will last a lifetime.

Is the environment welcoming? 

To answer this question, the PEP director will be happy to put you in contact with a PEP student or alum. We also encourage you to reach out to someone in our Physics Under-Represented Minority Students (PURMS) group. Our department is a member of the APS Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance (APS-IDEA) and the APS Bridge Program.

Students and Faculty in the CWRU STEP program

Jobs, Careers, Salaries

8 out of 10 PEP students receive job offers before they graduate--often from the company with which they intern. Starting salaries range from $50,000 to $80,000, depending on the goals of the student. PEP graduates currently work for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100 in industries such as energy, healthcare, manufacturing, IT, entertainment, and aerospace. Their job titles are diverse, including 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.


You must have the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree in physics or an engineering degree with a strong background in physics. GRE is not required, but TOEFL is required for international students who are not currently studying in the US. We consider the quality of your previous education, grades, recommendation letters, personal statement, and passion for innovation/entrepreneurship.


Apply Now!

Deadline is March 20 to be considered for a fellowship. Please notify PEP director Edward Caner if you plan to apply!