All Ph.D. students must pass a comprehensive examination of covering quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, condensed matter physics, and statistical mechanics at the advanced undergraduate level.
The exam consists of two (2) 4-hour written parts administered over two consecutive days. It is given once a year, during the summer. If a student's performance on the written exam is borderline between satisfactory and unsatisfactory, the graduate committee may request that the student take an oral exam to allow for a better assessment.
Exams from previous years are available to help you in preparing to take your comprehensive examination: