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Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street, Troy, New York 12180-3590 USA

Telephone:
(518) 276-6310
Fax: (518) 276-6680
E-mail: physics@rpi.edu

B.S. Curriculum: Graduate Study Prep

Suggested Options for Preparation for Graduate Study in Physics

This variation of the Physics Curriculum uses free electives to give the student a taste of various research fields in Physics, with special preparation for the Graduate Record Examination. Graduate (600-) level courses are recommended in the senior year. Similar variations are also possible, and should be decided after consulting your academic advisor.

First Year
Fall Credit Hours   Spring Credit Hours
PHYS-1100 Physics I 4 PHYS-1200 Physics II 4
MATH-1010 Calculus I 4 MATH-1020 Calculus II 4
CHEM-1100 Chemistry I [2] 4 CHEM-1200 Chemistry II 4
Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective [3] 3/4 Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective [3] 3/4
 
Second Year
Fall Credit Hours   Spring Credit Hours
PHYS-2960 Modern Physics 4 PHYS-2350 Experimental Physics 4
MATH-2010 Multivariable Calculus &
Matrix Algebra
4 MATH-2400 Intro. to Differential Equations 4
CSCI-1100 Computer Science I 4 PHYS-2620 Fundamentals of Optics 4
Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective [3][4] 4 ASTR-2050 Intro. to Astronomy & Astrophysics 4
 
Third Year
Fall Credit Hours   Spring Credit Hours
PHYS-2330 Intermediate Mechanics 4 PHYS-4210 Electromagnetic Theory 4
PHYS-2510 Quantum Physics 4 PHYS-4100 Intro. to Quantum Mechanics 4
MATH-4600 Advanced Calculus 4 PHYS-4420 Thermodynamics and
Statistical Mechanics
4
Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective [3] 4 MATH-4300 Intro. to Complex Variables:
Theory and Applications
4
 
Fourth Year
Fall Credit Hours   Spring Credit Hours
PHYS-4720 Solid State Physics 4 PHYS-4620 Particles and Nuclei 4
PHYS-6510 Quantum Mechanics I 3 PHYS-6520 Quantum Mechanics II 3
Elective 3/4 Elective 3/4
Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective [3] 4 Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective [3] 4
Footnotes:
  1. A senior project is required, which consists of a research course, cooperative assignment, or prior research project approval.
  2. CHEM-1500 Chemistry of Materials I may be substituted for CHEM-1100 Chemistry I.
  3. A total of 24 credits in H&SS electives is required.
  4. Students with little or no electronics experience are encouraged to take ENGR-1310 Introduction to Engineering Electronics, a one-credit laboratory course, in addition to this four-credit elective.
A number of other courses should also be considered, including courses in other departments. Some other physics courses include:
  • ASTR-4120 Observational Astronomy
  • ASTR-4220 Astrophysics
  • ASTR-4240 Gravitation and Cosmology
  • PHYS-4630 Lasers and Optical Systems
  • PHYS-4640 Optical Communcations and Integrated Optics
  • PHYS-4810 Computer Modeling in Physics
  • PHYS-6110 Methods in Theoretical Physics
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