COURSEWORK & QUALIFYING EXAM
Graduate students typically spend the first year and most of the second taking courses. In addition to required courses in electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics, there are elective courses in areas ranging from quantum field theory to solid-state physics. Students who have previously taken graduate-level courses can be excused from required courses by passing exemption examinations on first entering the program. First-year graduate students take a written qualifying exam in January. The three half-day exams cover classical and modern physics. Most students pass this examination on the first attempt; a smaller number retake and pass the examination the following year.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS (besides the graduate student seminar)
All four of the following core courses
Quantum Mechanics I and II
and one of the following:
Quantum Field Theory
Two field-specific courses chosen from the list below with the assistance of a faculty advisor.
Normally, both courses will be in the same field. Note that some courses are listed both here and in (I) above. In case of overlap, one course may fill both requirements but does not count twice toward the total number of courses required for the M.Phil.
Condensed Matter Physics I
Condensed Matter Physics II
Quantum Field Theory I
Particle Physics I
Classical Theory of Waves
Students who have previously mastered the equivalent material in G6037-G6038 may elect to fulfill these requirements through course examination alone. Placement examinations to exempt out of these courses are offered at the beginning of the fall term.
** The Department does not offer a placement exam for electromagnetism. The Department's required course, PHY 6092, emphasizes radiation theory, at a level at or slightly above the second half of J. D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics. Our experience has been that almost all students need to take this course, so a placement exam is not offered. Students who have already mastered the material may discuss the issue of a placement exam directly with the instructor (for Fall 2011, Professor Allan Blaer).