In short: Is a class based on the Jackson text necessary to truly understand electromagnetism? In length: I have heard many people (some on this forum) state that the Jackson text is more of an exercise in mathematical physics and/or is the “hazing” that one must endure to be a PhD in physics. So my purpose here is to gather some opinions on this matter. Does Jackson give you more insight into the fundamental physics or is it more akin to a math methods course? The reason I ask is that I am a PhD student in electrical engineering but have a strong inclination to fundamental physics. Seeing the Jackson-based course as the de facto standard for grad level EM, I am thinking about taking the course. Another question I have is if I possess the mathematical maturity to take on such a course. My knowledge of “advanced” mathematics is at the level of the book by Boas. I also took undergrad electives in quantum mechanics at the level of Griffiths and classical mechanics at the level of Fowles and Cassiday (didn’t really master the later course though). My knowledge of EM was the “engineering way” using the book by Cheng. Would the above be sufficient for undertaking Jackson? I assume first-year physicists take another advanced math methods course. Would my lack of this type of course hinder myself in a Jackson-based course? Also, I hate to go off topic, but I would like to re-ask the questions in the previous paragraph but by replacing “Jackson” with “Goldstein.” Thank you all in advance for your enlightening comments.