Last modified on October 31st, 2023.
All degree-pursing graduate students in the Physics program at Montana State University must pass a qualifying exam. The exam is held semi-annually, once at the beginning of the fall semester and once at the beginning of the spring semester.
This web page provides current information on the upcoming qualifying exam.
Current Qualifying Exam Committee
The exam is organized, written, and graded by the Qualifying Exam Committee.
For the 2023/2024 academic year, the committee is composed of:
- Jiong Qiu (Chair)
- Nick Borys
- Hang Yu
- Dana Longcope
- Anton Vortonsov
Guidelines and committee policy
This year's Qualifying Exam Committee has authored a publicly available set of general guidelines for the writing, organizing, and grading the exam.
Spring 2024 Qualifying Exam
A summary topic list for the Spring 2024 exam has been provided.
Each Monday from September 25th through December 4th, a tutorial session will be held in Barnard Hall Room 108 beginning at 5:00 PM. A list of topics and problems are provided on the linked Google document.
Dates: The Spring 2024 qualifying exam will be held on January 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th.
Location: Gaines 101
|Monday, January 8||8:30 AM - 12:00 PM||Classical Mechanics||TBD|
|Tuesday, January 9||8:30 AM - 12:00 PM||Quantum Mechanics||TBD|
|Wednesday, January 10||8:30 AM - 12:00 PM||Electricity and Magnetism||TBD|
|Thursday, January 11||8:30 AM - 12:00 PM||Statistical and Thermal Physics||TBD|
*Any student eligible to take any or all sections of the exam are expected to be present for that session. If you are unable to attend for any reason, please contact Elicia Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or the exam chair, Jiong Qiu at email@example.com.
Permitted note sheets
You are allowed to have one (1) 8.5" x 11" sheet of hand-written notes (front and back) per subject. You will be required to submit your notes with your exam.
Accommodations will be made for students on a case-by-case basis in accordance to needs determined by the Office of Disability Services.
Requirements on the day of the exam
- Follow current MSU policy with regard to masks.
- Devices for music, noise cancelling headphones, or earplugs are allowed.
- If you choose to listen to music through headphones, please use a moderate volume that does not disturb others.
- Calculators are not allowed.
Previous Qualifying Exams
Prior qualifying exams are archived for reference: archive of past qualifying exams.