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dgs_advice:classes_to_take

Typical Classes to Take

For short descriptions of classes, go to Physics Graduate Classes

All Physics PhD students must take the following classes (unless you have taken similar classes before elsewhere. Waiving this class requirement must be done in writing by the DGS)

Phys 5001. Quantum Mechanics I.
Phys 5002. Quantum Mechanics II.
Phys 5011. Classical Physics I (Mechanics + begin Electrodynamics).
Phys 5012. Classical Physics II (finish Electrodynamics).
Phys 5201. Thermal and Statistical Physics.
Phys 5072. Best Practices in College Physics Teaching. Two semesters required if you are a physics TA in MN for the first time.

Seminars:
Phys 5980. Graduate Research Seminar:

  • In the Fall: you must attend, even if not for credit, so that you get to know research activities in the department which will help you identify your research adviser.
  • In the Spring: you must register for the course as this is where you will receive your NSF-mandated “Ethics in Research” training. If you do not register for this course during the spring, you must find another way to satisfy this requirement and inform the DGS and program administrator of your intent to do so. If you do not have ethics training, you will not be allowed to be supported as a RA funded by an NSF grant.

Phys 5950. Colloquium (even if you don't take it for credit, you should attend).

Typical electives (Most students take some of these)

Phys 4211. Introduction to Solid-State Physics.
Phys 4511. Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics.
Phys 4611. Introduction to Space Physics.
Phys 4621. Introduction to Plasma Physics.
Phys 5022. Relativity, Cosmology, and the Universe. (Ast 5022 is the same course)
Phys 5041. Mathematical Methods for Physics.
Phys 5042. Analytical and Numerical Methods of Physics II.
Phys 5081. Introduction to Biopolymer Physics.
Phys 5401. Physiological Physics.
Phys 5402. Radiological Physics.

Typical 2nd-year electives

2 semesters of seminar in the respective field: 8100 (education), 8200 (cosmology/astrophysics), 8300 (biophysics), 8600 (space), 8700 (CM), 8800 (Nuclear) and 8900 (HEP)

For biophysics, there are relevant seminars in related departments (see examples below).

After you read sub-field specific information, make sure to check the last section about thesis credits, etc.

Condensed Matter

Phys 4211. Introduction to Solid-State Physics. (usually taken in the spring of the 1st year)
Phys 8702. Statistical Mechanics and Transport Theory II.
Phys 8711. Solid-State Physics I.
Phys 8712. Solid-State Physics II.
Phys 8001. Advanced Quantum Mechanics.

For theory students, the following may be suggested.
Phys 8011. Quantum Field Theory I.
Phys 8012. Quantum Field Theory II.

Additional suggestions offered in other departments:

Chem 5210. Materials Characterization.
EE 5163. Semiconductor Properties and Devices I.
EE 5621. Physical Optics.
EE 5653. Physical Principles of Magnetic Materials.
EE 5655. Magnetic Recording.
EE 5657. Physical Principles of Thin Film Technology.
MATS 8001. Structure and Symmetry of Materials.
MATS 8003. Electronic Properties.
NPSE 8001. Introduction to Nanoparticle Science and Engineering.

HEP and Cosmology

Phys 4511. Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics. (usually taken in the spring of the 1st year)
Phys 8901. Elementary Particle Physics I.
Phys 8902. Elementary Particle Physics II.
Phys 8001. Advanced Quantum Mechanics.
Phys 8011. Quantum Field Theory I.

Less frequently taken:

Phys 8501. General Relativity and Cosmology I.
Phys 8502. General Relativity and Cosmology II.
Phys 8611. Cosmic Ray and Space Physics.

For theory students, the following may be good to take:

Phys 8012. Quantum Field Theory II.
Phys 8013. Advanced Topics in Quantum Field Theory.
Phys 8911. Introduction to Supersymmetry.
Phys 8702. Statistical Mechanics and Transport Theory II.
Phys 8950. Advanced Topics in Elementary Particle Physics.

Biophysics

Phys 8311. Biological Physics of Single Molecules.
Phys 8312. Biological Physics of Macroscopic Systems.

Additional suggestions offered in other departments:

BIOC 4521. Introduction to Physical Biochemistry.
BIOC 5527. Introduction to Modern Structural Biology.
BIOC 5528. Spectroscopy and Kinetics.
BIOL 4003. Genetics.
BMEN 5311. Advanced Biomedical Transport Processes.
BMEN 5501. Cellular and Molecular Biology for Biomedical Engineers.
CHEM 5021. Computational Chemistry.
CSCI 5481 Computational Techniques for Genomics.
EE 5629. Optical System Design.
MATH 4428. Mathematical Modeling.
MATH 5445. Mathematical Analysis of Biological Networks.
MATH 5535. Dynamical Systems and Chaos.
MATH 8506. Applied Dynamical Systems and Bifurcation Theory II.
STAT 5021. Statistical Analysis.

Seminar alternatives:

BIOC 8184 Grad Seminar.
BMEN 8601 BMEN Seminar.
BPHY 5138 Research Seminar
PHYS 8300 Biological and Medical Physics Seminar.

Space

Since the following courses are not offered very often, you may need to rely on “Directed Studies” by working with a faculty member.

Phys 4611. Introduction to Space Physics.
Phys 4621. Introduction to Plasma Physics.
Phys 8601. Plasma Physics I.
Phys 8611. Cosmic Ray and Space Physics.

Additional suggestions offered in other departments:

AST 8001. Radiative Processes in Astrophysics.
AST 8031. Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics.

Nuclear (theory)

Phys 4511. Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics. (usually taken in the spring of the 1st year)
Phys 8001. Advanced Quantum Mechanics.
Phys 8011. Quantum Field Theory I.
Phys 8012. Quantum Field Theory II.
Phys 8013. Advanced Topics in Quantum Field Theory.
Phys 8801. Nuclear Physics I.
Phys 8802. Nuclear Physics II.
Phys 8850. Advanced Topics in Nuclear Physics.
Phys 8901. Elementary Particle Physics I. (alternative or in addition to 8801)
Phys 8902. Elementary Particle Physics II. (alternative or in addition to 8802)
Phys 8702. Statistical Mechanics and Transport Theory II.
Phys 8501. General Relativity and Cosmology I.
Phys 8502. General Relativity and Cosmology II.

Less frequently taken:

Phys 8911. Introduction to Supersymmetry.
Phys 8611. Cosmic Ray and Space Physics.
Phys 8950. Advanced Topics in Elementary Particle Physics.

Special classes

Credits for research component of degrees

  • Phys 8994 Independent research - if you are doing research (before your prelim oral) and you don't have many classes you need to take, you should register for this to show that you are putting a significant amount of time and energy into research. You need to fill out a form which is available in the front office (148) and write what you will do, and get your adviser's signature so that it's clear to both of you what you are trying to accomplish at the end of the semester. You will get a permission number when you turn the form in.
  • Phys 5994 Independent research - similar to 8994, but if your research is at a basic level. You need to fill out the same form as 8994 to get a permission number.
  • Phys 5993 Independent study - Studying some subject instead of doing research. Otherwise the same as 5994
  • Phys 8888 Thesis credits for PhD students.
  • Phys 8777 Thesis credits for Plan A MS students.
  • Phys 8500 Plan B project for Plan B MS students
  • Phys 8666 You are doing research with your PhD adviser, but have not passed the preliminary oral and as a result, are not allowed to take 8888. You should not have to take this for more than one semester - you should take the oral soon if you are in this situation. Also, when you consider taking this, most likely, you should be taking 8994 or 5994 (independent research) instead.

If you are interested in a teaching career

  • GRAD 8101-Teaching in Higher Education.
    This course is designed to help you become a stronger, more reflective college teacher. Co-teachers along with course participants will model a variety of active learning strategies (e.g. cooperative learning, collaborative learning, problem-posing, case study, interactive lecture, discussion, critical thinking, role-playing) and will facilitate discussions addressing educational theory and practice. For more details
  • GRAD 8200-Practicum for Future Faculty.
    This course is designed to give participants opportunities to apply the theories and methods learned in GRAD 8101, “Teaching in Higher Education” (or in a PFF-approved departmental pedagogy course), and to further enhance understandings of the faculty role in higher education. For more details

If you don't need any more classes - you have taken all credits needed for the degree

  • GRAD 999
    A course to register if you just need to maintain “active” status. Cannot be used if you have an RA or TA appointment. Cannot be useful to maintain legal visa status. See for more details about Grad 999. It says, “Do not register for Grad 999 if you must be registered to hold an assistantship, maintain legal visa status, defer loans, receive financial aid, or for any reason other than to meet the Graduate School's registration requirement.”
  • Phys 8333, 8444
    To maintain an “active” student status for an MS (8333) or ABD PhD (8444) student. Does allow assistantship, and good for valid student visa.

If you want to look at the official course catalog, please click here. Specifically, Graduate School course catalog is found here. The undergraduate course catalog is found here.

Note that some 5-level classes are only listed in the Undergraduate course catalog.
dgs_advice/classes_to_take.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/14 11:24 by vinals