Course placement

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Placing out of Core Courses

During orientation week you will be able to present to several faculty members proof that you have taken an equivalent course to any of the four core courses (Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, and Classical Electrodynamics). They will expect as much of the following as you can bring:

  • Syllabus
  • Course materials (lecture notes, textbook)
  • Your own notes

If they deem you ineligible to place out of these courses based on your coursework, but you're confident you know the material, you may be able to place out by taking the corresponding comprehensive exam at the placement level. However, this is very difficult, and typically no more than 1 or 2 students in any year are able to place out via a comprehensive exam.

It is possible to transfer credits - up to 6 old credits that are grad classes from a previous school, but they can't have been used to obtain a previous degree (i.e. No transferring of masters degree requirements). This is different from PhD students being able to get the PhD class requirement waived for core classes if they have taken them in the past.

NOTE: Even if you are not an incoming student, you can still ask for an interview with the evaluation committee. There are students who have been waived from core courses (that they of course had not yet taken) in the second year.

Placing out of Graduate Laboratory

Similarly, you might be able to place out of the Grad Lab requirement if:

  1. You have taken a graduate or advanced undergraduate lab similar to the ones offered here
  2. The experiments you did cover the 3 subfields of Grad Lab: nuclear/particle, AMO, condensed matter
  3. You have saved the lab reports you did there
  4. Said lab reports are well written (you received a good grade for a particular lab report) for graduate level standards

It is important to note that, even if you covered only a few of the areas of Grad Lab in the course you took, you might still be able to be excused from at least this part of the class (say, you won't have to do a condensed matter experiment if you already did one)