Your first couple of years should be spent mostly taking classes. These classes fall into two "types": first year and advanced courses. This page should give you a general idea of what these courses are about and which and how many of them you are required to take.

The physics department's webpage includes the catalog description of all these courses and can be found at

First year courses

The first year courses are meant to prepare you for the qualifying exam (information found at These courses are not strictly necessary, but they are highly recommended for a solid foundation in physics.
The first year courses are the following:

Fall Spring Summer
200A 200B 210A
201 203A 203B
212A 212B 212C

200: Classical Mechanics
201: Mathematical Physics
203: Electricity and Magnetism
212: Statistical Mechanics
212: Quantum Mechanics

Advanced Courses

Descriptions of advance courses can be found at These courses are mores specialized and are taught at a higher level than the first year courses. The advanced courses are also split into several groups based on topic which can be found here

The Course Groupings

The physics department is currently working on rearranging the course groups. This portion of the website will be updated when the final arrangement is made.

Course Requirements to Graduate

Graduate students are required to complete 5 advanced courses with no lower than a 3.0 gpa prior to graduating. These 5 courses must be from at minimum 3 separate course groups.

Students may take graduate courses from other departments to fulfill their 5 advanced course requirement.

In addition to the department's requirement, students must fulfill any course requirements set by the university which can be found at

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