for the family, school

qualified for what, exactly?

Let me just come right out and say it: I passed the qual.

That would be the Syracuse University Physics Department PhD Qualifying Exam.  For those that don’t know, it’s a two day exam, 3 hours each day, 5 problems each day.  These are homework level problems, which means, if they’re assigned as a homework problem, they’ll probably take between 1-5 hours to complete.  And we have to do 5 problem in 3 hours.

Passing this test is considered a Big Deal.  Very important, more or less do or die kind of a thing.  Once you’ve passed it, your done demonstrating that you are capable of being a PhD.  You know your stuff, and you know how to figure things out.  You just have to carry on doing that.

So, what am I qualified to do?

Well, I guess that would be 4-5 more years of work on a research topic.  Write a thesis and present it.  You know, the hard-but-fun part of a PhD program.

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