Example Two-Year Course Sequence for Physics Ph.D.:

The following is an example course sequence for the first two years of the Physics PhD, as might be recommended for a student coming out of a program such as our physics BS curriculum. The curriculum allows considerable flexibility in specific order of the courses, however the required core courses 601, 603, 606, 607, 624, 615, and 611 should be completed as soon as possible. Note that PHYS 685 is for students on non-thesis MS degree plan gaining research experience, otherwise normally 691 is chosen. Also depending upon undergraduate background some students may be advised to substitute an advanced undergraduate course to prepare for the corresponding graduate course, while other students might be able to test out of some of the core graduate courses. For details please contact the departmental advisors.

First Year, Fall Semester

PHYS 606 - Quantum Mechanics (3 hours)
PHYS 615 - Methods of Theoretical Physics I (3 hours)
PHYS 681 - Research Topics Seminar (1 hour)
PHYS 691/685 - Research/Directed Studies (2 hours)
Alternatives: Many students substitute PHYS 601 for PHYS 606, or a lecture course could replace PHYS 681 + PHYS 691/685.

Spring Semester

PHYS 603 - Electromagnetic Theory (3 hours)
PHYS 624 - Quantum Mechanics II (3 hours)
PHYS 689 - Topical elective course (3 hours) or PHYS 691 - Research (3 hours)


PHYS 691/685 - Research/Directed Studies (3 or 6 hours).
Required hours determined by support: 5-week assistantship requires 3 hours, 10-week assistantship requires 6 hours.
Alternative: PHYS 666 (Scientific Instrument Making) (3 hours) may be recommended for some experimental students.

Second Year, Fall Semester

PHYS 601 - Analytical Mechanics (3 hours)
PHYS 611 - Electromagnetic Theory II (3 hours)
Distribution course (e.g. PHYS 625, PHYS 617) (3 hours)
Alternative: PHYS 691 (Research) (3 hours) replaces Distrubution course.

Spring Semester

PHYS 607 - Statistical Mechanics (3 hours)
Distribution Elective - (3 hours)
PHYS 691 - Research (3 hours).


Same as first summer: normally PHYS 691/685,
6 hours if full summer assistantship or fellowship support.

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