This is a collection of resources intended to help SBU graduate students preparing for the Stony Brook University PhD comprehensive exam.
What is expected on the comprehensive exam does not, in general, overlap with what is taught in the core courses – this is meant as a supplement to help students figure out what it is they should learn.
It goes over (what I believe to be) the standard topics expected of physics graduate students in the core subjects (Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Statistical Mechanics, and Quantum Mechanics). Additionally, I will provide what I believe to be lecture notes
DISCLAIMER: I am in no way affiliated with the committee of professors who write the comprehensive exam questions. I don’t know what the questions will be. And I do not believe that there is a “secret trick” to preparing for the comprehensive exams. It’s possible there will be questions asked that are outside of this list of core topics, but I believe that mastering the listed topics with the resources I’m providing is the best, most efficient way of preparing for the SBU comprehensive exam.
If you have any questions, you can email me at