Gregory L. Charvat's blog.
Thanks for the post... Interesting stuff...Can you comment on the typical complexity of problems in a PhD qualifying exam with respect to the coursework at both the undergrad and graduate levels?For example, you state the solutions might be useful for undergrad EM studies, but how much farther do you need to go in order to answer an EM fields question on a PhD qualifying exam?
Depends on the university. Some do not even have a PhD qualifying exam while others have oral only exams. At Michigan State University in 2007 the qualifier was a 2-part exam. Part 1 you pick 5 of 11 undergrad/masters level topics and solve the problems given. Part 2 you present a briefing and report on a topic given to you by your committee, usually solving a tough problem of some kind. But, if your masters thesis was sufficiently good then this would substitute for Part 2. In my case i only had to take part 1. The solved problems here are undergrad level and sufficient to study for part 1 EM of the qualifying exam at MSU in '07. These problems are great (assuming you can read my handwriting :) if you are an undergrad or have to study for an undergrad EM portion of a qualifying exam.