Berkeley Courses for an Engineering Physics Grad

  • #1
Hi. I will be a visiting student in Fall 2015/Spring 2016 at berkeley. I am currently in my 3rd year of a 5 year MS Engineering Physics program at my school. Which higher-level courses do you think are most useful for an engineering Physics Grad?

Could you guys be so kind as to help me choose decent subjects? I want to work in nano tech but at the same time I'm not 100% sure, so I'd like to play it safe and choose general but useful courses. by Fall 2015 I will, effectively, have the equivalent of a BSc in Applied Physics + courses in Circuit analysis, Control theory, Programming (c++ and matlab) and Fluid Mechanics.


I was thinking of the following courses for my 4th year. The number after ";" is the amount of credits for the course.

Fall 2015

Physics 221A Quantum Mechanics; 5 (Graduate)
“Basic assumptions of quantum mechanics; quantum theory of measurement; matrix mechanics; Schroedinger theory; symmetry and invariance principles; theory of angular momentum; stationary state problems; variational principles; time independent perturbation theory; time dependent perturbation theory; theory of scattering.”

Nuclear Engineering 101; 4
“Energetics and kinetics of nuclear reactions and radioactive decay, fission, fusion, and reactions of low-energy neutrons; properties of the fission products and the actinides; nuclear models and transition probabilities; interaction of radiation with matter.”

Physics 191 Quantum Information; 3
“This multidisciplinary course provides an introduction to fundamental conceptual aspects of quantum mechanics from a computational and informational theoretic perspective, as well as physical implementations and technological applications of quantum information science. Basic sections of quantum algorithms, complexity, and cryptography, will be touched upon, as well as pertinent physical realizations from nanoscale science and engineering. Also listed as Chemistry C191 and Computer Science C191.”

Physics C201 Nanoscale Science and Engineering; 3 (Graduate) (I think I might not take this course so as to avoid a too heavy workload)
“A three-module introduction to the fundamental topics of Nano-Science and Engineering (NSE) theory and research within chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering. This course includes quantum and solid-state physics; chemical synthesis, growth fabrication, and characterization techniques; structures and properties of semiconductors, polymer, and biomedical materials on nanoscales; and devices based on nanostructures. Students must take this course to satisfy the NSE Designated Emphasis core requirement. Also listed as Bioengineering C280, Materials Science and Engineering C261, and Physics C201.”

Spring 2016

Physics 221B Quantum Mechanics; 5 (Graduate)
“Many-body methods, radiation field quantization, relativistic quantum mechanics, applications.”

NE155 Intro Num. Simulations in Radiation Transport; 3 (this course seems kind of basic, but I need to learn more numerics stuff)
“Computational methods used to analyze radiation transport described by various differential, integral, and integro-differential equations. Numerical methods include finite difference, finite elements, discrete ordinates, and Monte Carlo. Examples from neutron and photon transport; numerical solutions of neutron/photon diffusion and transport equations. Monte Carlo simulations of photon and neutron transport. An overview of optimization techniques for solving the resulting discrete equations on vector and parallel computer systems.”

Physics 141B Solid State Physics; 3
I can't find any decent course description. Not even sure if I need this, considering I'm taking right now

E120 Principles of Engineering Economics; 3
“Economic analysis for engineering decision making: Capital flows, effect of time and interest rate. Different methods of evaluation of alternatives. Minimum-cost life and replacement analysis. Depreciation and taxes. Uncertainty; preference under risk; decision analysis. Capital sources and their effects. Economic studies.”

EE130 Integrated-Circuit Devices; 4
“Overview of electronic properties of semiconductor. Metal-semiconductor contacts, pn junctions, bipolar transistors, and MOS field-effect transistors. Properties that are significant to device operation for integrated circuits. Silicon device fabrication technology.”

Are these decent choices? I feel that I am really lacking in engineering courses, but I have no clue as to which ones to pick...
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
I kind of want to take a course in Astronomy + Relativity, but it doesn't seem like a very useful course for an engineer. Thoughts?
  • #3
Hi there, Nikitin, seeing as you are already finished the fall semester and currently working on the Spring semester, what would be your answer to your original questions? I am in a similar situation and would like to know your experiences.

Best Wishes,


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