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Information for Current Graduate Students


The common core of physics which every doctoral student is expected to know is covered in seven courses:

  • Mathematical Methods (one semester)
  • Classical Mechanics (one semester)
  • Statistical Mechanics (one semester)
  • Electrodynamics (two semesters)
  • Quantum Mechanics (two semesters)

These subjects are tested in the Qualifying Examinations. In addition students are required to take five additional graduate level physics or astrophysics courses from those offered within the department. Selection of these courses should be based on the student’s educational background, with advice from members of the Graduate Studies Committee. Course registration forms for first-year and second-year students must be signed by their designated member of the Graduate Committee. First-year students are required to attend the weekly Introduction to Research course which provides a survey of the research interests of the Department’s faculty members, career planning and other useful information about the department and university.

All students are strongly encouraged to attend the Department Colloquia, and the Research Seminars and Journal clubs that are offered by each of the Department’s research groups.

All graduate students in our department are given, upon admission, a tuition waiver good for 90 credit-hours. Since this equals the required number of course hours, any classes taken that cannot be counted for graduate credit implies that the student will be financially responsible for an equal number of graduate credit-hours.