Typical Course Sequence for Ph.D.

Typical course sequence for Physics Ph.D., Physics Track

First Year

Fall Semester

  • PHYS:5710 Classical Mechanics
  • PHYS:5811 Electrodynamics I
  • PHYS:5741 Quantum Mechanics I

Qualifying Exam: January

Spring Semester

  • PHYS:5730 Statistical Mechanics
  • PHYS:5812 Electrodynamics II
  • PHYS:5742 Quantum Mechanics II

Second Year

Advanced physics courses* - two courses

Alternatives:

Some physics students postpone a 200-level course to the second year in order to take a 100-level course the first year. This is can be done to take a 100-level course in a research area (for example, plasma physics). It can also be done to take a course that was not completed as an undergraduate (for example, PHYS:4761/4762 Mathematical Methods of Physics).

Typical course sequence for Physics Ph.D., Astronomy Track

First Year

Fall Semester

  • ASTR:6880 High Energy Astrophysics (or another advanced astronomy course**)
  • PHYS:5710 Classical Mechanics
  • either PHYS:7990/ASTR:79914 Research in Astronomy or a physics course

Qualifying Exam: January

Spring Semester

  • ASTR:6781Galactic Astronomy (or another advanced astronomy course**)
  • PHYS:5730 Statistical Mechanics I
  • either ASTR:7991 Research in Astronomy or ASTR:4770 Radio Astronomy

Second Year

  • One advanced astronomy course** each semester
  • Special Topics in Astrophysics or a physics course

Third Year

  • One advanced astronomy course** each semester

* Advanced physics courses (each taught in alternating years)

  • PHYS:6720Nonlinear Optics
  • PHYS:7720 Semiconductor Physics
  • PHYS:7740Quantum Field Theory
  • PHYS:5840 Quantum Gauge Theories
  • PHYS:7760 General Relativity and Cosmology
  • PHYS:7725 Special Topics in Condensed Matter
  • PHYS:7730 Advanced Plasma Physics

**Advanced astronomy courses (two are taught each year in a three-year rotation):

  • ASTR:6870 Radiative Processes in Astrophysics
  • ASTR:6785 The Interstellar Medium
  • ASTR:6790 Stellar Astrophysics
  • ASTR:6880 High Energy Astrophysics
  • ASTR:6781 Galactic Astronomy
  • ASTR:6782 Extragalactic Astronomy