Required core courses & electives

Students are required to pass the 7 Core Graduate Courses with a grade of B or better and two electives and with a B+ or better. The two elective courses should be graduate-level courses in STEM. If a course is from outside the Physics department, it must be approved by the department Qualifying Committee. Elective courses may also count towards the department's Advanced Graduate Course requirement (see below).

Students who have completed graduate level courses at other universities in the core subjects (or believe they have already mastered the material) should contact the Physics Graduate Advisor about the departmental petition process.

Advanced graduate courses:

Physics Ph.D. students are required to take five advanced graduate courses (with a grade of C or better) from at least three of the groups listed below no later than the end of the third year in the program. A 3.0 in four of the five courses is required. (In lieu of the course requirement, students may petition to take an oral examination covering three areas of physics.)

  • Group 1 (Plasma): Phys 218A, 218B, 218C (Plasma); Phys 235 (Nonlinear Plasma Th)
  • Group 2 (Cond. Matter): Phys 211A, 211B (Solid State); Phys 219 (Cond. Matt. Lab.); Phys 230 (Adv Solid State); Phys 232 (Electronic Materials)
  • Group 3 (Particle Phys/High Energy): Phys 214 (Elem Part); Phys 215A, 215B, 215C (Part & Fields); Phys 222A (Exp Tech Phys)
  • Group 4 (Math): Phys 210B (Nonequil Stat Mech); Phys 221A (Adv Mech); Phys 243 (Stoch Meth); Math 210A, 210B, 210C (Math Phys); Math 259A, 259B, 259C (Geom Phys)
  • Group 5 (Bio): Phys 273 (Biological Info): Phys 274 (QBio Stoch Pop Gene); Phys 275 (Fund of Biol Phys): Phys 276 (Quan Molec Bio); Phys 277 (Phys of Cell): Phys 278 (Biophys Neurons)
  • Group 6 (Astro): Phys 223 (Stel Str); Phys 224 (Instrstel Med); Phys 226 (Galaxies and Galactic Dynamics); Phys 227 (Cosmology); Phys 228 (High Energy Astrophysics and Compact Objects); Phys 238 (Observ. Astro Lab)
  • Group 7 (General): Phys 217 (Renorm Field Th); Phys 220 (Group Th); Phys 225A, 225B (Relativ)
  • Group 8 (Computational): Phys 241, 242 (Comp Phys); Phys 244 (Parallel Comp)

Note: Students enrolled in the Biophysics Ph.D. program select five courses from biology, chemistry/biochemistry, and physics in consultation with their research advisor. At least three courses must be graduate courses.