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Graduate courses

As detailed in the Policies and Procedures, all Ph.D. and Masters students in the Physics group are required to take:

A. Core Course Requirements: To be completed within the first four semesters.

  1. PHYS 202 - Foundations of Physics
  2. PHYS 237 - Quantum Mechanics I
  3. PHYS 210 - Electrodynamics
  4. PHYS 212 - Statistical Mechanics
  5. PHYS 205 - Classical Mechanics

B. Electives: To be completed at any time during the PhD or Masters

  1. An elective from the physics courses
  2. A second elective which may be chosen from any graduate level course in the School of Natural Sciences or Engineering. Physics electives include advanced physics courses such as Quantum Mechanics II, Condensed Matter Physics, Biophysics and any other PHYS 2XX courses available. They can also include graduate courses from the applied math, MBSE or chemistry groups as long as they are 3 units and taken as a graded class. Any elective must be at least 3 units and we require at least one elective be a course outside the student's primary research area for Ph.D students, which can be selected by discussion with the student's graduate advisor or the graduate group chair for Physics.
  3. In addition, students must take 1 unit of BEST/QSB294 Responsible Conduct of Research, 4 semesters of Physics seminar, 1 unit of PHYS 251 Introduction to Graduate Research.

Other courses may be added to these lists as fulfilling the requirements at any time, as designated by the physics faculty. There is no foreign language course requirement.

If a student would like to attain a waiver for any of the courses above, the rules are:

  1. No waiver will be granted unless the student has passed the preliminary exam.
  2. For waivers regarding elective courses, a student can only ask for a waiver on one elective course. All core courses can be waived if competency is demonstrated.
  3. For a waiver on any of the courses, the student will need to attain the waiver from the faculty member who taught the course most recently. The faculty member granting the waiver will only do so if the student can successfully complete an exam in the course. This exam can be given at any time at the faculty and student's convenience, any time of the year. The final decision to grant the waiver will be taken by the Graduate Division.

Waivers are carried out by the General Petition from the Graduate Division forms website. Course electives must be regular graduate courses (not research or independent study). Courses offered by other graduate programs may be taken as electives but require approval of the major professor. Requirements for formal course work beyond the minimum are flexible and are determined by the individual student's background and research topic in consultation with the major professor.

All Physics graduate students must successfully complete their core course requirements with a grade of S or B or better. A student may petition the graduate chair for a single B- grade to be accepted. Graduate students should be aware that grades obtained of B- may land them in a state of unsatisfactory degree progress, as they must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0, and their semester GPA must not remain below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters. Graduate students should also be advised that S/U grades do not count towards GPA calculation by the registrar.

See full list of physics courses in the course catalog.