Written Prelim Exam
The Written Exam will be offered two times a year, once in January (usually on the first Monday and Tuesday following New Year's Day) and once in August (on the Thursday and Friday preceding the first day of classes). The student will be given a total of 8 hours (4 each day) to complete the exam which will consist of 10 problems (5 each day) covering material ranging from introductory calculus-based physics to advanced topics in a typical student's undergraduate physics education (example tests are available). Students will be given four chances to pass the written exam.
- Total 4 chances to pass
- The exam must be taken by incoming students before they begin classes if they have had the necessary undergraduate preparation.
- 10 questions over 2-days (5 questions each)
- 1st day : C.Mechanics (4101-2), E&M Theory (4201-2), and Optics (3330)
- 2nd day : Modern Physics (3700), Quantum (4701-2), and Thermodynamics (4300)
- Passing scores are based on successfully completing at least 3 of the 5 problems on a given day. If a particular day is passed on a given attempt, it does not have to be retaken the next semester.
- A maximum total of 4 attempts is permitted for each student for each day of the written exam.
- Grading policy: Three faculty members will grade the same exam individually. Then, the three scores will be taken into account (average, mean, or median) to produce the final score. Identities of students will be hidden to the exam committee. Graduate coordinator will produce a set of prelim exam IDs for all students taking a prelim exam in a given semester and advise students to use only those prelim exam IDs.
List of suggested books
- Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker
- Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Taylor, Zafiratos, and Dubson
- Introduction to Classical Mechanics With Problems and Solutions by Morin
- Introduction to Electrodynamics by Griffiths
- Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by Griffiths
- An Introduction to Thermal Physics by Schroeder
These books are available in the department library (check the middle of the left-most bookshelf) and books should not be taken out of the library.