Post-candidacy Course Requirements

The post-candidacy course requirements can be fullfilled at any point during a students time in our program. The courses must be selected from the list given below.

Each student must:

  • Take a total of 4 courses from the "menu" below of intermediate graduate courses in Categories A, B, C, and D with at least one from each of the categories A, B, and C. These must be passed with at least a 2.7 GPA (B-) and with no grade less than C.
  • Take 2 courses from category E (Advanced Electives).

Course Categories

A. Condensed Matter
  • 36100 Introduction to Solid State Physics
  • 36600 Advanced Solid State Physics+
  • 36700 Soft Condensed Matter Physics
B. Particle Physics
  • 36300 Introduction to Particle Physics
  • 44300 or 44400 (not both) Introduction to Quantum Field Theory I or II
C. Large Scale Physics
  • 36400 General Relativity
  • 37100 Introduction to Cosmology+
  • 37200 Space Physics and Astrophysics+
D. Intermediate Electives
  • 31700 Symplectic Methods of Classical Dynamics
  • 35300 Advanced Statistical Mechanics
  • 38500 Advanced Mathematical Methods
  • 38600 Advanced Methods of Data Analysis

+ offered in alternate years

E. Advanced Electives

This category consists of all Physics Department courses bearing a "40000-level" course number, with the exception of Physics 443, 444, and 499. In addition, with the approval of the Department and the student's Thesis Committee, a course in another department may be designated as a Category E course for an individual student on a case-by-case basis provided that (1) the course is taught at a level comparable to Physics Department "40000-level" courses and (2) the Ph.D. Committee and Department feels that it is in the student's best interest to take this course rather than a Physics Department course.

A list of previously approved non-physics electives can be found here.


Transfer Credit

Students may petition for transfer credit for courses taken at other institutions that are comparable to our department’s post-candidacy courses. These courses must be taken at the graduate level. If you are interested in petitioning for transfer credit, please send all course materials—including a syllabus, homework assignments, and exams—to the Director of Graduate Studies ( for consideration.


Students who do not complete these requirements as noted above and who are deemed not to be in Good Standing may be placed on academic probation.