Suggested first-year program of study for aspiring particle/string theorists
The exact courses you will take depend on your background and preferred field of study. You should talk to one or more faculty members to help you decide a course of action. (See e.g. Prof. Peet's advice page for prospective grad students ).
Our graduate program is very flexible; for example, there is no need to take classes that you happen to have already taken as an undergraduate.
Note also that, if you want to do a PhD in high-energy (particle/string) theory, in order to impress a potential advisor it helps to have high marks in your courses, especially in QFT1 and QFT2 (or else be able to demonstrate command of the relevant material). Independent initiative is also carefully noted - for example, attending seminars, asking questions outside classes and course curricula, etc.
If right now you are not yet sure of your field of specialization, but want to keep your particle/string options open, then be sure to take courses on Quantum Field Theory (QFT) and the Standard Model. These courses contain fundamental core material for both high-energy theorists and experimentalists, as well as for early universe cosmologists. Courses introducing General Relativity (GR), black holes and cosmology are, in turn, crucial for anyone working with gravitational fields. Since links between high-energy physics and early universe cosmology are growing and strengthening, both in theory and experiment, it makes sense for all students planning to do research in string theory, early universe cosmology, and particle theory to take both QFT and GR.
Fall Course suggestions to choose from:
- PHY2403F Quantum Field Theory 1
- PHY1483F Relativity Theory 1
- PHY1489F Introduction to High Energy Physics
- PHY2315F Advanced Statistical Mechanics or PHY1500F Statistical Mechanics
- An "M" course, if needed
Spring Course suggestions to choose from:
- PHY 2404S Quantum Field Theory 2
- PHY 2401S Cosmology and Black Holes
- Special Topics in High-Energy Theory: PHY2406S String Theory (if offered) or PHY2407S Advanced Particle Phenomenology (if offered)
- PHY2321S Many-Body Theory 1