Qualifying Exam

student at computerGraduate students in physics are required to take the Qualifying Examination upon entrance to IUPUI. The Qualifying Exam must be taken, at the latest, after completing the first semester of graduate work.

Two consecutive attempts are permitted to obtain a passing grade. New students are encouraged to take the exam at the first opportunity upon arrival at IUPUI before taking any classes to become familiar with the exam and for the Department to assess their standing. This attempt does not count towards the limit of two consecutive attempts.

The qualifying exam is given twice a year, shortly before classes begin in the Fall and the Spring semesters. The examination consists of two, 3-hour parts given on successive days. There are eight problems in each part.

This examination requires a knowledge of classical mechanics at the level of the texts by Fowles, Analytical Mechanics, and Marion and Thornton, Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems; of electricity and magnetism as presented in Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics and Reitz, Milford and Christy, Foundations of Electromagnetic Theory and Marion, Classical Electromagnetic Radiation; of quantum physics at the level of French and Taylor, An Introduction to Quantum Physics and Eisberg and Resnick, Quantum Physics of atoms, molecules, solids, nuclei, and particles; and of Thermal physics as found in Kittel and Kroemer, Thermal Physics. Finally a general knowledge of modern physics at the level of the texts by Weidner and Sells, Krane, Sandin, Serway and Tipler is required.

The full results of this diagnostic will be used to help establish a student’s Departmental Plan of Study and decide on the propriety of any core course equivalence request.