phd qual study plan/group

  • As many already know, studying for the physics GRE and getting accepted into a graduate program is not the final hurdle in your physics career.
  • There are many issues current physics graduate students face such as studying for their qualifier, deciding upon a field of research, choosing an advisor, being an effective teaching assistant, trying to have a social life, navigating department politics, dealing with stress, utilizing financial aid, etc.

Post Reply
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:43 am

phd qual study plan/group

Post by mnakusor » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:00 pm

The university I am in tests the following subjects in the qual:

* classical mechanics
* quantum mechanics
* electrodynamics
* statistical mechanics

at the upper-undergraduate/end-of-first-year-graduate level.

It would be great to have a study group for people who are taking the exam soon. Anyone interested to discuss study plans and materials?

Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 7:59 pm

Re: phd qual study plan/group

Post by tweetie_brid » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:54 pm


Study Guidance:
In preparing for the written exam, it is highly recommended that one first completely review all topics at the introductory level using an introductory calculus-based text book. Then one may move on to review the material at the higher undergraduate level, focusing on classical mechanics, electrostatics & circuits, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics. In parallel, it is strongly suggested that one complete the released sample exams. With this level of preparation and study, the majority of graduate students can expect to pass the exam on their first attempt.

Recommended texts:

A calculus-based introductory text book that includes modern topics, such as Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics (Extended Version Chapters 1-46) by Serway & Jewitt.
An undergraduate modern physics text such as Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Thornton & Rex or Modern Physics by Tipler & Llewellyn
An undergraduate mechanics text, such as Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems by S. T. Thornton & J. B. Marion or Analytical Mechanics by G. R. Fowles & G. L. Cassiday.
An undergraduate electricity and magnetism text such as Electromagnetic Fields and Waves by P. Lorrain & D. Corson.
An undergraduate heat and thermodynamics text such as Chemical Thermodynamics by Ernö Keszei, Thermodynamics and an Introduction to Thermostatistics by H. B. Callen, or An Introduction to Thermal Physics by D. V. Schroeder.
An undergraduate quantum mechanics text such as Principles of Quantum Mechanics by H. C. Ohanian or Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by D. J. Griffiths.

Post Reply