Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I Passed The Physics Comprehensive Exam

I found out today I passed the hardest exam I have ever taken in my life. The physics comprehensive exam. (The Qual)

This is one of the reasons I was most excited about Irvine. I got to take it in April as opposed to the summer. Now I get to spend my summer researching as opposed to studying for a test.

For those who want to compare: the qual here is three, 3 hour tests (So 9 total hours) of questions from classical mechanics, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics and electricity & magnetism.

Now, for the first time I feel like an "official" grad student.


  1. Congratulations Joe! That's wonderful that you have that out of the way so early in your graduate career.

    Here at CU we call it the comprehensive exam or comps. It consists of 2 parts. Comps I is a 6 hour test that is taken after the 3rd semester (next January for me) that covers all of the astrophysics graduate core material. It's intense but usually most people pass (although this year only 3 people out of 11 passed, but that's a long story).

    Comps II is a publication quality research project that is supposed to be completed near the beginning of the third year (next October for me).

    I like CU's system, but I do envy the fact that you are already done with it.

    Anyway, congratulations once again and good luck with research.

  2. Thanks Nick. I'm sure you will do well on your "Comps".


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