Curriculum 2004

These are the requirements are for students who entered between 2004/05 to 2009/10 class. Students who entered before Fall 2004 may be allowed to fulfil their requirements using either this curriculum or using the old Curriculum. Students who entered after 2009/10 class must be using the new "Curriculum 2010."

Core Courses

Physics graduate students must either register for the following courses and pass ALL the core courses below, or pass an equivalent placement exam without registering for the courses. Most of the core courses have course plans. The course plans describe the objectives and goals, methods and approach, and a sample syllabus for our graduate courses. The purpose of the course plans is to explain why the material is an important part of the graduate curriculum. In addition, the plans set forth those topics that are required aspects of the course (will be taught every year) versus material that is at the discretion of the instructor.

  • Physics 203 -- Statistical Mechanics
  • Physics 211 -- Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics I
  • Physics 212 -- Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics II
  • Physics 230 -- Mathematical Methods of Physics
  • Physics 281 -- Classical Mechanics
  • Physics 315 -- Advanced Quantum Mechanics I
  • Physics 318 -- Fundamentals of Electricity and Magnetism
  • Physics 319 -- Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
  • Physics 351 -- Physics Research Seminar
  • Physics 352 -- Seminar Techniques (until Spring 2009)

Elective Courses

In addition to the core courses, the Department of Physics requires Ph.D. students to complete a distribution of intermediate and advanced graduate courses. The role of the distribution courses is to ensure that even as students specialize in a particular subfield, they also develop a familiarity with other fields of physics, providing a broader understanding of our discipline. The selection of courses must meet the following two conditions:

  1. At least three graduate courses in physics or allied fields approved by the student's advisor;
  2. At least two graduate physics courses not in the student's primary area of research

A course may serve to satisfy both conditions. Students are encouraged to exceed the minimum requirements when possible. These rules are intended to make explicit the philosophy of the advanced graduate course of study. The DGS is ultimately responsible for enforcing these rules. Students currently taking courses, and having started in 2003/04 or before, will be allowed to fulfil their distribution requirements using either this system or the old system. Students should discuss with the DGS to make sure a course satisfies the requirement.


In addition to the course work, every student must take pass ALL the three examinations as listed below.

Modifications in this Curriculum 2004 (October 22, 2009)

  • The Seminar Techniques course (PHY 352) has been eliminated immediately.
  • Instead, each student is required to present a scientific Research Talk at least once per year after the first year. The title and abstract of the talk should appear in the annual report.