In recognition of the significant disruptions caused by COVID-19, the Columbia Physics Department is not accepting Physics GRE or General GRE scores for applications received for the academic year starting in Fall 2021.  In addition, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Pass/Fail and other grading options during this period of COVID-19 disruptions, whether those decisions were made by institutions or by individual students.

A summary of the topics that will be tested on the qualifying exam can be found here while a set of thorough lecture notes on each of the 6 sections can be found here. Below is a collection of all of the qualifying exams and solutions dating back to 2004:

The Physics Department maintains a number of computer networks (including a wireless 802.11b network in the Nevis Center on the 11th floor of Pupin and in 301 Pupin). There are a variety of computers running a number of different operating systems:

  • Administrative computer network
  • Graduate Student computer network
  • Research computer networks
  • Undergraduate and Laboratory computer networks

If you have technical questions regarding these systems, you should contact the system managers for these various systems:

For issues regarding department computing policy and budget questions, should contact the Computer Committee:

  • Prof. Robert Mawhinney
  • Prof. Gustaaf Broojimans


Graduate students generally stay in Columbia Residential housing. All information about how to apply and the types of housing available can be found here.

The Science and Engineering Library in the Northwest Corner Building and the Columbia University Library system in general are excellent resources. If you would like to search for whether a text, journal, catalog, or article is available within the Columbia Library system, you can use CLIO.

The CTL is an excellent resource for developing your teaching skills. They offer a wide variety of resources, events, and contacts to graduate students in all departments. For more information, visit the CTL site.

Graduate student health & well-being resources can be found here.