Graduate Qualifying Exams

Graduate Exam Components and Typical Schedule

The graduate qualifying exam is a written test consisting of four parts covering the topics of Classical Mechanics, Electricity & Magnetism, Quantum Mechanics and Thermodynamics. The typical schedule for the exam is to offer the parts on Classical Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism in January, and the Quantum Mechanics and Thermodynamics parts in August. Examinations are typically held in the few days before the start of each semester.

Further details on the qualifying exam can be found in the departmental Graduate Handbook. Questions should be directed to the vice chair of graduate studies Dr. Dean Townsley.

Topics and Textbooks

Suggested textbooks and study focus topics can be found on the Exam Topics and Textbooks page.

Past Exams

Download printable versions of past exams (PDF):