Mathematical & Theoretical Physics

While the subject of physics is itself fascinating, there are students who are drawn into the study of theoretical physics as against experimental physics. A heavy dose of mathematics accompanies it and hence, some universities offer the programme through their Mathematics departments while other do so through their Physics Departments. There is a wide variety of programmes. “From the academic year 2015/16, Oxford Physics and Oxford Mathematics will jointly offer a new masters level course in mathematical and theoretical physics. Students from outside Oxford can apply to join the MSc mode of the course and will study for an MSc in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics. Oxford MPhys, MMath or MPhysPhil students will be able to apply for transfer to the MMathPhys mode of the course after their third year and study mathematical and theoretical physics in their fourth year, instead of following the fourth year of their original degree course. Oxford MMathPhys students will graduate as a ‘Master of Mathematical and Theoretical Physics’ with a double classification consisting of the BA degree class in their original subject and an MMathPhys degree class”. ( Similar to Oxford, The University of Edinburgh offers an MSc in Theoretical Physics & MSc in Mathematical Physics which “introduce advanced ideas in theoretical physics and apply them to solving real-world problems”. (

The University of Hamburg offers a Master Programme in Mathematical Physics which “is a research oriented programme geared towards fundamental research at the interface of mathematics and physics. Its participants acquire familiarity with the fundamental concepts of modern theoretical physics as well as proficiency in pure mathematics. Ideally, graduates of the programme are able to understand current research in theoretical physics as well as to work actively with advanced mathematical concepts and structures”. ( The University of Amsterdam is stopping offering Mathematical Physics as an independent programme since September 2017 “but as a specialisation in the Mathematics Master’s programme”. Students desiring to study this will have to enroll themselves in Masters in Mathematics programme.  ( The Ludwig Maximilians University offers an Elite Master Course Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, whose goal is “to offer students an education in theoretical and mathematical physics that is equally as broad as it is in-depth, in order to enable them to enter into one of these fields as soon as possible”. (

Indiana University, Bloomington offers a Mathematics Physics PhD which “offers advanced graduate training for superior students in the overlapping areas of mathematics, theoretical physics, and their applications from a unified point of view and promotes research in this field”. (

The Department of Physics at Princeton offers a Masters in Mathematical Physics. According to them, “The mathematical physics group is concerned with problems in statistical mechanics, atomic and molecular physics, quantum field theory, and, in general, with the mathematical foundations of theoretical physics”. ( The University of California, Santa Cruz, offers a Graduate programme in the subject under its Department of Mathematics “The department has leading research programs in several actively developing areas on the frontiers of pure and applied mathematics, interacting strongly with theoretical physics and mechanics”. (