Physics Fundamentals Bootcamp 2023

Physics Fundamentals Bootcamp

What: Starting the graduate program at Yale Physics is very exciting, but the transition can also be disorienting while you juggle a new department, coursework and teaching. This two week program aims to accelerate that transition and give you some breathing room in the first month of the program by refreshing those fundamentals and forming a supportive group of peers and mentors before the first day of class! Note this bootcamp is not intended to prepare you for the pass-out exams for required graduate courses.

Who: Any student looking to soften the transition into a frenetic first semester in graduate school. Get your first year as a graduate student off to a running start by solidifying the fundamentals in classical and quantum mechanics before the first day of class and form study groups from day one.

Student feedback from Bootcamp 2019 and 2020:

“I feel more prepared for the Fall classes. The boot camp did a great job getting me back into the habit of solving physics problems…I would highly recommend the boot camp for future incoming students, including for students who feel confident in their background in physics but just want to get back into the habit of solving physics problems. The boot camp made it easy to get back into a rhythm and was also a good way to meet some of the other incoming students and older students.”

“Highly recommend. This was a perfect opportunity to get back into the swing of coursework if you’ve been away from it, but also a great chance to meet your cohort in a low stress and casual environment.”

“100%, I would recommend it to incoming students. It has eased a lot of nerves about starting classes and because of the bootcamp, I won’t be feeling alone when I walk into courses this semester .” 

“ I think there can be a lot of uncertainty getting into grad school. Anywhere from feeling underprepared compared to your peers to not having everything figured out. Finding out that other people are more or less in the same boat is very reassuring. And it is also a great way to get to know your class and collectively learn.”

“I feel more prepared after the bootcamp and it also gave a sense of belonging in the community.”

  When:   August 7-18, 2023

Time: 9am-12pm Monday-Friday, with office hours and general information on navigating department life on Wednesdays.

Format: Instruction will be in-person, with the possibility of remote access if the need arises.

Instructors: Dr. Rona Ramos and current graduate students.

Curriculum: The focus will be on sharpening the skills you will need to be successful in Quantum and Classical Mechanics, the two required first semester classes. Week 1 will cover classical mechanics and week 2 will cover quantum mechanics. Preliminary topics include:

  • Linear Algebra
  • Dirac notation
  • The fundamentals of undergrad QM
  • Lagrangian dynamics

Financial Support: University stipend for the fall semester begins on August 15th, which covers the second week (QM) of bootcamp. If you would like to attend week one (Classical), and will not be supported through an early start research position, funding for the first week of bootcamp is available. Please contact the graduate registrar, Stacey, at to find out more.

Applied Physics Graduate Students: Applied physics graduate students, you are welcome to join us! Please be aware that Classical Mechanics is not required by your program. However, if you would like to attend classical week and need financial support, please see your department about the possibility of funding. Funding is not required to attend the second week of the program.

To participate, please sign up by July 7th: Boot Camp Sign Up.
Make sure you are logged into EliApps to access the google form.

Contact: For any questions please contact: