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Necessary classes before graduate school

  1. Oct 15, 2005 #1
    I've been reading ZapperZ's thread "I have so-and-so degree, can I get into Physics?", and I've been thinking what classes I should definitely take so that the qualifier doesn't kick me out of graduate school.

    I'm in a EE and physics dual degree program, which doesn't require as many physics classes as physics majors. My current plan is to cover up to 2 semesters of QM and CM. Through the Engineering dept, I will have covered 2 semesters of EM, solid state, and other general EE courses. Are there any other necessary courses or independent studying I should do, so that I do well on the physics gre and the qualifier?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2005 #2
    Based on my own experiences, make sure you have some abstract algebra in there too. It couldn't hurt to study some group theory on your own. If you're going experimental they won't help you too much down the road, but they may help with your classes.
  4. Oct 15, 2005 #3


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    Er.... abstract algebra? For preparation for the qualifying exam??!! Which school is this?

  5. Oct 16, 2005 #4

    Dr Transport

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    I would take the Physics Department E&M courses, not the ones thru the EE department. I have seen your situation in the past and the students seem to do OK until they get to the graduate courses in E&M, then they have real problems.
  6. Oct 16, 2005 #5
    Okay. So no abstract algebra?

    If E&M is that serious, I'll study it on my own. But I don't have time to formally retake two classes. Or maybe I'll just sit-in on the courses.
  7. Oct 16, 2005 #6
    you can talk to your EE advisor about replacing EE's E&M with Physic's E&M. I didn't realize that at my school and ended up taking E&M from EE. I would suggest taking E&M from physics. EE will not cover some essential/useful topics, just maxwell's equations and applications. for example, my EE E&M class did not cover potential formulation and conservation laws.
  8. Oct 17, 2005 #7
    Yeah, I definitely would not bother with abstract algebra, unless your a masochist :tongue2:
  9. Oct 17, 2005 #8

    George Jones

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    I suspect that WMGoBuffs responded to the title of the thread without thoroughly reading brentd49's first post. WMGoBuffs does make a good point, though. Some people need (and some don't) a course in a abstract algebra in order to understand some of the group theory concepts presented in graduate particle and quantum field theory courses.

    Recently, someone started posting in PF looking for lots of help with group theory and representation theory. Even though an introductory abstract algebra course covers neither Lie groups nor representation theory, I don't think this person would be having nearly as many problems if he/she had taken an abstract algebra course.

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