Graduate Assessment

Recipients of an advanced degree in physics are expected to have:
  • Broad knowledge of advanced physics including quantum mechanics, advanced electricity and magnetism, classical and statistical mechanics
  • A sound knowledge of different fields of physics outside the specific area of research
  • Proficiency in oral and verbal communication of complex scientific topics
  • Proficiency in advanced computational methods
  • A sound foundation in advanced mathematics
  • Knowledge of modern research trends
  • Proficiency in conducting state-of-the-art research, including the development and application of new techniques
Recipients of an advanced degree with major in astrophysics are expected to have:
  • Broad knowledge of advanced astrophysics including the fields of stellar astrophysics, galactic and extragalactic astronomy, and high-energy astrophysics
  • A sound foundation in advanced and modern physics
  • Proficiency in oral and verbal communication of complex scientific topics
  • Proficiency in advanced computational methods
  • A sound foundation in advanced mathematics
  • Proficiency in up-to-date observational methods
  • Knowledge of modern research trends
  • Proficiency in conducting state-of-the-art research, including the development and application of new techniques
Assessment Measures
  • Course grades in required courses
  • Student performance on individual course examinations, problem assignments and written laboratory reports
  • Student course evaluations
  • Student evaluations of Faculty Advisors (all majors have a faculty advisor)
  • Survey of graduating students
  • Formal student representative input on the departmental curriculum committee
  • Informal student input
  • Survey of alumni (including tracking their career paths after graduation)
  • External reviews
Table of Specific Course Intended Outcomes and Assessment Measures
Outcome Courses Measures
Knowledge of advanced astrophysics Astro 505, 580, 582, 584, 586 Course grades, examinations, problem assignments, student course and advisor evaluations, student surveys, formal and informal student input, external review report, alumni survey
Knowledge of advanced electricity and magnetism Phys 571,572
Knowledge of advanced classical and statistical mechanics Phys 531, 564
Knowledge of advanced quantum mechanics Phys 591,592
Knowledge of different fields of physics Astro 505
Physics 511, 526, 534, 541
Proficiency in modern computational techniques Phys 551
Phys 699, Astro 699



Proficiency in observational methods Astro 510
Knowledge of modern research trends Phys 650, Astro 650 Student surveys, seminar attendance and presentations, formal and informal student input, external review reports
Sound foundation in advanced mathematics Math 426 Course grades, student surveys, formal and informal student input
Proficiency in conducting and communicating research Phys 650, 699
Astro 650, 699
Theses review, examination, seminar attendance and presentations, Informal student input, survey of graduating students, alumni survey