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Programs Question about PhD Physics Scheduling

  1. Jun 28, 2007 #1
    It'll be my first real semester this fall for my PhD. I had a bunch of questions about scheduling, but I think I found a way to answer them all by asking a fairly simple question.
    For those of you who have recently graduated (last 10-20 years), how many required quantum courses did you take outside of undergrad. (PhD, or Masters then PhD). I'm talking regular quantum courses, not things like Principles and Methods of Quantum Computing. Just courses like "Quantum Mechanics/Physics/Field Theory"

    Thank you.

    The reason I ask is I'm trying to schedule my courses for the next two years, and there are some annoying and confusing conflicts. Such as (numbers not exact, but you get the idea)
    Quantum Mechanics II - 6350 - Fall 07/08
    Quantum Mechanics I - 6300 - Winter 08/08
    Quantum Theory I - 7300 - Fall 07/08
    Quantum Theory II - 7350 - Winter 07/08

    So if I wait and take QM I in the winter, I have to wait till Fall to take the second part. THEN i have to wait another year to start QT I because QM II and QT I are in the same semester.

    It seems so dumb. Maybe they just made a mistake, but ususally its pretty accurate. The only thing I could think of is if some students petitioned for it to be like that for some odd reason.
    I was thinking of studyign really hard over the next 2 months and going straight to QT I but it has a prereq of the QMII (or advisor consent) AND a prereq of Methods of Theoretical Physics course (3 credit, 2 semseters I&II)

    What did your schedules look like for your first year?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2007 #2
    yea that sucks. i don't know if this is an option but is it possible to take the same classes at a different university, maybe they have them at different times?
  4. Jun 28, 2007 #3
    Possibly, but then I'd have to pay for it. Right now I'm a TA so tuition is waived.
  5. Jun 28, 2007 #4
    IMHO it would be worth it
  6. Jun 28, 2007 #5
    I doubt my school would allow me to take a graduate class at another university in my first semester of classes for PhD. It seems like they'd want me to take their courses, since the department is already paying for them for me. Especially on such short notice.
    I guess I could ask, but there must be a logical way to take the classes at my university. Unfortunately everytime I ask the graduate department they tell me to wait until the two days they have set aside to help us schedule. Unfortunately those two days are 3 days before classes start. This leaves me with no time to pre-study for any classes I may take, or to freshen up my mathematics before certain courses.
  7. Jun 28, 2007 #6

    Dr Transport

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    What are the school requirements??? If they are listed as required, you are stuck.

    At the university where I got my masters, they required 2 semsters at the level of Messiah.

    The university where I got my PhD, we had to take 4 semseters, 2 at the level of say Liboff, then 2 more using Cohen-Tannou***, neither of which sequences were at a level of my original courses.

    If you are going into theoretical physics, you'll end up taking advanced courses in QM, field theory, many-body etc......
  8. Jun 28, 2007 #7
    Not a fan of this book! Luckily we didn't use many problems from it. You'll also have back problems later in life if you have to carry both volumes around too often ;)

    Obviously, all schools are different which makes questions like this difficult. I see many schools that offer "Quantum Mechanics" and also "Quantum Theory"... what is the difference supposed to be? I mean, I know what QM is as I've done it. What does QT cover?
  9. Jun 28, 2007 #8

    Dr Transport

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    I am not a fan either, but was forced to use it.

    As for the difference between QM & QT, not much, they are just trying to soak you or your advisor for more money. You have to remember that they teach a lower level course to begin with so that everyone who they admit is prepared to the same minimum level before their qualifying exams, if you've already seen it, you get a decent grade without working hard.

    I was forced to take the courses again because they school required them and would not transfer in more than 6 hours from a previous department/program. The pure physics courses I took were no where near the level I had at my first school. I pulled a perfect 4.0 in all my physics courses except for the last QM because I stopped attending because the professor was trying to get me kicked out because I was firing him as my advisor. He gave in to the department chair after I aced the prelim exams and co-authored two papers with my new advisor in the first 6 months we worked together.
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