Qualifying Examination
All Ph.D. students must take and pass a written qualifying examination in order to advance to doctoral candidacy. The qualifying exam is at the level of advanced undergraduate courses and many resources are available to students to aid in preparing for the exams, including previous years' exams.
Schedule
Qualifying examinations will be offered once a year, in the week before the beginning of the Spring semester. A student wishing to take the examination will be required to sign up for it with the graduate advisor.
There will be four written examinations covering the following topics and typically given on the shown days and times of the week in room 2294 SEL.
Day 
Time 
Topic 
Monday,1/7/2019

9 am  noon 
Quantum Mechanics

Tuesday,1/8/2019

9 am  noon 
Electromagnetism

Thursday,1/10/2019

9 am  noon 
Thermal and Statistical Mechanics

Friday, 1/11/2019

9 am  noon 
Classical Mechanics

Please note all students, regardless of their academic standing, are eligible to take the qualifying exam.
For additional details please consult the Department of Physics Graduate Student Handbook.
Previous sample exams are available in the main office. You can also find problems and solutions of the prior exams at This link to qualifying exam Questions and Solutions.
Additional Background Material
The following list of text books should give you an indication of the minimum level at which you should prepare yourself for the qualifying exam. Remember that qualifying problems are typically at the level of the more difficult homework problems of our 400level courses offered at UIC. To be successful at the qualifying exam both a solid understanding of the material and analytical skills are necessary. The latter requires basic mathematics and practicing problem solving.
 Mechanics
Fowles, Analytical Mechanics
Marion and Thornton, Classical Dynamics and Systems
R. Becker, Introduction to Theoretical Mechanics
 Electromagnetism
Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics
Reitz, Milford and Christie, Foundations of Electromagnetic Theory
 Quantum Mechanics
Griffiths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
Amit Goswami, Quantum Mechanics
Stephen Gasiorowicz, Quantum Physics
N. Zettili, Quantum Mechanics
Liboff, Introductory Quantum Mechanics
 Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics
Adkins, Equilibrium Thermodynamics
Daniel Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics
Reif, Statistical Mechanics
Kroemer and Kittel, Thermal Physics