Physics Qualifying Exams

Update December 2010:

Quals now hosted on my own website.


  • The pdfs of all previous quals and their solutions are linked to on this main page.
  • Pdfs of qual problems manually combined by By Subject.
  • A separate wiki-page per qual question cross listed By Year and By Subject.

The plan for this site is to eventually have a page for each question and solution with the following naming convention: Spring 2006 13 EM which would mean Spring 2006, problem 13, E&M question (as an example).

There are 6 categories that the questions most easily fall into: E&M, Quantum Mechanics, Classical Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, mathematical methods, and miscellaneous questions, with the relevant subjects getting the labels "EM, QM, Mech, SM, Math, Misc" respectively.

This ought to allow people to search the site for questions by specific qual, or by subject area, and to correct the website AND the previous quals.

PDFs can now be found HERE.

Jonathan Whitmore, a physics graduate student at UCSD, created this site to organize the previous qual solutions in a single location and, to provide a place for mistakes in these solutions to be found and shared. Also, this site hopes to be a good resource for study tips from past qual takers for what they found useful in their studying.

The 'qual' is also called the physics departmental exam.

This is a wiki site after all, so please add to and correct things as you see fit — you have to get a wikidot account, but it's straightforward and free.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.