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Information on Graduate Course Requirements
CHOOSING FIRST YEAR SUBJECTS
The Department does not require PhD students to take any subjects other than those needed to satisfy the specialty and breadth requirements described below. However, many students begin by taking some combination of graduate Quantum Mechanics (8.321 and 8.322), graduate Electricity and Magnetism (8.311), and graduate Statistical Mechanics (8.333). Not only have these subjects been proven to give students a broad view of basic physics, but each of them (with the exception of 8.322) may be used to satisfy the related part of the Written General Exam. As of fall 2016, a new subject, 8.309, will be offered and can be used to satisfy the Classical Mechanics portion of the Written Exam.
Firstyear students concerned with the level of their undergraduate preparation are encouraged to consider taking seniorlevel undergraduate subjects such as Electricity and Magnetism (8.07), Statistical Mechanics (8.08) and Classical Mechanics (8.09). Some firstyear students may wish to sample basic graduate subjects in specialty areas: Atomic and Optical Physics (8.421 or 8.422), Solid State Physics (8.511), Systems Biology (8.591J), Plasma Physics (8.613J), Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics (8.701), and Astrophysics (8.901 or 8.902). These subjects may later be counted towards one’s specialty or breadth requirements. While planning their first year program, students should keep in mind that the normal subject load for those with full time RAs is two academic subjects, or about 24 units. A student with an RA will also register for PreThesis Research (8.391 in the fall; 8.392 in the spring and summer terms), for 12 or more units, depending on the rest of the course load.
NUPAX GRADUATE STUDENT CLASSES
Graduate students who belong to the NUPAX division are required to take two specialty classes and two breadth requirements. The full academic responsibilities for graduate students are discussed in greater detail on the main Physics website (http://web.mit.edu/physics/current/graduate/doctoral.html). Students are encouraged to visit the website for more information about these requirements.
NuPAX offers three courses in experimental nuclear and particle physics: 8.701, 8.811, and 8.711. The graduate courses 8.811 and 8.711 assume that students have completed a rigorous introductory course in nuclear and particle physics. The level of undergraduate particle and nuclear physics varies greatly depending on institution and instructor. Students should review the example final for 8.701 to determine placement. The purpose of each of the three courses is summarized, and detailed topics are outlined, below.
Introduction to Particle and Nuclear Physics  8.701
 Graduate or advanced undergraduate introduction to particle and nuclear physics.
 Satisfies breadth requirement for graduate students not in NuPAT or NuPAX.
 Prepares undergraduates for Physics GRE subject exam.
 NuPAX students should take this course in the fall of their first year.
Nuclear Physics  8.711
 Graduate overview of topics in nuclear physics.
 Satisfies breadth requirement for NuPAT.
 Undergraduates should have completed 8.701 before taking 8.711.
 NuPAX students should take this course in the spring of their first year.
Particle Physics  8.811
 Graduate overview of topics in particle physics.
 Satisfies breadth requirement for NuPAT.
 Undergraduates should have completed 8.701 before taking 8.811.
 NuPAX students should take this course in the fall of their second year or in consultation with the instructor and their graduate advisor.
Introduction to Particle and Nuclear Physics  8.701
SUBJECT 
TOPIC 
Course Overview: 

Basics 

Electromagnetism 

Weak Interactions 

Strong Interaction 

Nuclear Physics 

Experiment 

Nuclear Physics  8.711
SUBJECT 
TOPIC 
Course Overview: 

Effective Many Body Methods 

Nuclear Astrophysics 

NN Interaction and AbInitio ManyBody Methods 

Electron Scattering 

Nucleon Structure 

Nuclear Decay and Fundamental Symmetries 

Heavy Ion Collisions 

Nuclear Energy 

Detectors 

Particle Physics  8.811
SUBJECT 
TOPIC 
Course Overview: 

Standard Model 

Neutrino Physics 

Cosmology 

Dark Matter 

Cosmic Rays 

Experiment 
