From: Jacobus Verbaarschot, Graduate Program Director
Welcome to the Department of Physics and Astronomy in Stony Brook.
I wish you a great summer vacation before starting in our graduate program. I do not want to spoil the fun, but I would
like to bring to your attention a few issues that need some preparatory work.
To: Entering Graduate Students
Date: June 19, 2012
- ORIENTATION: Please pay close attention to the announcements concerning the orientation
of the students. The dates will be posted by the Graduate School
(and also by the Department
on our WEB page
http://graduate.physics.sunysb.edu/orientation/2012 ). Participating in the orientation is required
by the University for employment as a teaching assistant. Make your travel reservations
- REQUIRED COURSES: As it is described in our WEB page http://graduate.physics.sunysb.edu/
in great detail, you will have to pass
various minor hurdles here, including required courses. However, we are fully aware of the fact that many of our
incoming students have taken similar courses already. In particular, if you have successfully passed courses similar
to our required graduate courses in Classical Mechanics, Electrodynamics (two semesters),
Quantum Mechanics (two semester) and Statistical Mechanics at your present University,
a Committee will determine which
of these courses you still need to take here.
Instead you can fulfill these course requirements by taking advanced courses as agreed
on with the
If you did graduate courses elsewhere without obtaining a grade or if you studied the subject by yourself,
or if the graduate courses you took are different from our courses you still can get the above courses waived
by passing the Placement exam. This is a difficult exam that requires extensive preparation. Details and problems
from previous exams can be found on http://graduate.physics.sunysb.edu/comprehensive.
Here is a
quote from the WEB page:
"Placement Exam. This is an optional two-day exam, offered at the beginning of the Fall semester, for entering
students. Each day of the exam is divided into two parts. The first day covers classical mechanics, special
relativity (in short, CM) and electricity, magnetism and optics (EM). The second day covers quantum mechanics
(QM) and statistical mechanics and thermodynamics (SM). The four parts roughly correspond to the four required
courses (CM: PHY 501; EM: PHY 505 and 506; QM: PHY 511 and 512; SM: PHY 540). Each part is graded separately.
Passing a part qualifies the student for exemption from taking the corresponding course(s)."
If you want to take this exam, you should refresh your knowledge in the corresponding
subject matter. Please refer to this page
to get an idea about the content of the courses. Our WEB page about the recent exam problems,
may be also helpful.
prepare for, and take, only a certain part of the Exam. This is perfectly legal; in fact, by focusing the effort one may have a better
chance for passing that part.
- LAB COURSE: We have a one semester laboratory course. This lab covers various areas of physics, but the main goal is to
teach you about designing and carrying out experiments independently. If you did
a similar course at home, please bring all related material with you. This includes, among others, your written and
graded reports. See more here:
- HOUSING: The Solar System, http://www.stonybrook.edu/it/solar.shtml,
is used for housing, course registration and other matters. Send an email to Diane at email@example.com if you do
not know your Stony Brook ID number.
For international students
(a simple test of spoken English) after you arrived here.
- We do our best to get your I20 done as fast as possible. Please be patient.... The Department (Pat and Diane) cannot do
anything to speed up the process.
Last updated on 6/19/2012 by Jacobus Verbaarschot.