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The summer between graduation and graduate school - Preparation?

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  • Thread starter MPKU
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm just reaching out to fellow graduate students who have already been through this. I'm about one month out from starting classes for physics phD program. Here are my concerns/questions:

There is a preliminary exam; if students do not reach a certain percentage they will recommend (and may even make it mandatory this year) that the student takes upper undergraduate level courses first (these count towards a masters, but not the phD).

I found a research project I found interesting, relating to biophysics. I would need to brush up on my bio-chem and computer programming to work with this team.

Ideally I'd like to do all of these, but since we don't live in a perfect world it's unlikely I would with the amount of time left. So basically my question is, which is most important that I get a head start on, or should I be collectively working to all of these:

-Review all of previous physics knowledge [Kinematics - QM]? (I figured this might help with the preliminary exam, TA duties, and maybe even in some of my courses)

-Review upper level course material [E.M., Q.M., Upper level mechanics]? (This may be better material to look at for the preliminary exam, and almost definitely help in courses I will take)

-Work towards understanding the research project


Thank you for your time.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Same situation here, sans the option for a prelim exam. I made a thread about this a few months ago and got some good replies (check my thread history, I forget the title).

What I have been doing is reading the relevant literature in the research field my department/group largely focuses on along with playing around with the programming language and software packages I'm going to be using. I was invited to a big academic conference/workshop and that helped a bit in getting me up to speed too.
 

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