Is it worth doing this type of Masters course? I come from a chemistry background (quit a PhD years ago) and want to do a PhD in physics after a gap of several years working in unrelated fields. I don't feel I have sufficient background in physics to step immediately into a PhD program, and I need to get some academic references as any I might be able to get are too out of date and not physics related. Here's the course page: https://sharepoint.washington.edu/phys/grad/EMSP/Pages/default.aspx I've seen comments that the courses offered are not very rigorous and rather easy compared to PhD track 500-level courses. Is this true? If so, is it a disadvantage? I may be able to do some daytime 400 or 500 level courses as I intend to not be working full time for at least some of the course's duration. Is there a better way for me to get into physics from a different science background, after a long gap?