Jon Butler, Dean of the Graduate School, has asked every department to review and evaluate their PhD program this fall semester, concentrating on years 2 through 4. This is the 2-4 Project.

To oversee the physics department’s review a faculty committee was established comprising Bonnie Fleming, Steve Girvin, Walter Goldberger, Dan McKinsey, Simon Mochrie, and Nick Read. Because we believe it is impossible to sensibly separate years 2 through 4 from year 1 and from later years, we took it upon ourselves to review and discuss all aspects of the program.

A key element of the 2-4 Project review was student input. To this end, both the Graduate School and the Physics Department’s 2-4 Project Committee invited responses to questionnaires asking for students’ opinions concerning various aspects of our graduate program. There were 9 responses to the GS questionaire and 15 to the committee’s, out of a total of about 120 graduate students in the Physics Department. In addition, draft proposals were discussed at the Chairman’s Town Meeting with graduate students on December 6, at which the attendence was about 50 students, and at a meeting of the Teaching Faculty on December 7. The proposed changes described in this document were approved by faculty vote at the December 7 meeting.

At these separate meetings, in essentially all cases, there was broad concensus among the students and among the faculty about how to modify the Physics PhD program. In addition, there was also good agreement between faculty and student opinion.