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.

Placing out of Graduate Laboratory

Similarly, if you've taken an extended practical lab class similar to the graduate lab here, you may be able to exempt yourself from the Grad Lab required class (PHY 515) if you show the faculty your lab reports from your previous course. They will look to see that you did an experiment in all 3 required subfields (nuclear/particle, AMO, and condensed matter), and they will look to see if your lab report quality is at an acceptable graduate level. It is possible that an advanced undergraduate lab class you took might be good enough to exempt you from this class.