The Comprehensive Exam is administered every year in August near the start of the fall semester. The exam consists of three sections: Classical & Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, and Electromagnetism & Special Relativity. 

Next Exam

The 2023 Comprehensive Exam dates are:

  • Monday, August 7, 0900 - 1200 (Classical and statistical mechanics)
  • Wednesday, August 9, 0900 - 1200 (Quantum mechanics)
  • Friday, August 11, 0900-1200 (E&M and special relativity)

For each of the three sections, students will generally select a subset of around three problems to solve. Mathematical/integral table handbooks are not necessary as the problems will contain any necessary such information. 

The level of the exam is as follows:

  • Classical and statistical mechanics: Goldstein and Mandl
  • Quantum mechanics: Griffiths through Merzbacher
  • E&M and special relativity: Griffiths and Jackson

The content and administration of the exam is the sole discretion of the Physics & Astronomy Department. 

To register, email Dr. Stephen Walker by August 1.

Past Exams

At present, past exams are distributed to current graduate students.

Past exams are available via Google Drive here (must access with UAH credentials).