double major

Tosh
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double major

Postby Tosh » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:12 am

So I'm interested in experimental..

Thinking about a double in p and math or double in p and econ.. does it help to double in p and m and does it HURT to double in p and econ as they might think you're not serious in physics? Or I am thinking way too much..

Also.. if I do econ.. since it's easier and I guess adcoms doesn't care about econ grades as much as math grades.. I might be able to spend more time in the lab.. what do you guys think?

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noojens
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Re: double major

Postby noojens » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:24 am

Eh, I don't think AdComs care much about double majors. If you're into experiment, doubling in something where you get a lot of hands-on lab experience (EE, MatSci, maybe chemistry) might help a little, but it's still a blip on the radar compared to research experience, PGRE, recommendations, etc.

Bottom line: double major in something if you're passionate about it. Don't do it to strengthen your application; if that's your goal, you're far better off spending your time doing research or studying for the PGRE.

mobytish
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Re: double major

Postby mobytish » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:19 am

I agree with noojens that you should only double major in something if you're passionate about. However, here are some thoughts for the math double major. It's possible that AdComs will look favorably on this because you might have more experience at the higher level math required for some graduate courses. I think it's more possible, though, that the in-depth experience with upper-level math would help increase your PGRE score because you'll have a deeper understanding of things like Langrangian Dynamics, Matrices, etc.. Still, you'll have to be pretty dedicated to make it all work and also get significant research experience in Physics, which seems to be a big help on your application.

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grae313
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Re: double major

Postby grae313 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:30 am

You might want to take a look at this thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1537&p=13022&hilit=double+major#p13022

admisisonprof gives his school's view on double majors, and there is an interesting discussion on the topic with a lot of good points brought up.

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Helio
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Re: double major

Postby Helio » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:27 pm

I did a middle of the road thing.... mathematical economics... i doubt it helped much besides taking the upperdivison prob and stat courses, which will help during data analysis and stuff like that

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grae313
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Re: double major

Postby grae313 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:21 pm

So, interestingly, I just got awarded an NSF fellowship, and two out of three of my reviewers commented on my double major. They noted that the combination of physics and chemistry was both unusual and very applicable to my chosen field and would help in my research efforts. So, while double majors may not make a huge difference in admissions, they may make a difference in fellowship applications if the areas are applicable to your research.

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noojens
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Re: double major

Postby noojens » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:34 pm

Congrats on the NSF grae :)

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grae313
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Re: double major

Postby grae313 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:22 pm

thanks!!

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zxcv
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Re: double major

Postby zxcv » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:42 am

grae313 wrote:So, interestingly, I just got awarded an NSF fellowship, and two out of three of my reviewers commented on my double major. They noted that the combination of physics and chemistry was both unusual and very applicable to my chosen field and would help in my research efforts. So, while double majors may not make a huge difference in admissions, they may make a difference in fellowship applications if the areas are applicable to your research.

I didn't double major (I almost did in math) but I got similar comments on my successful NSF application concerning my multi-disciplinary background, because I had diverse research experience as an undergrad (chemistry, math, physics).

Congrats to you, too, grae!

Tosh
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Re: double major

Postby Tosh » Fri May 14, 2010 12:00 am

Would GPA be more important or a double with math?

I think if I don't double with math, I can focus more on physics and get a higher GPA

pqortic
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Re: double major

Postby pqortic » Fri May 14, 2010 1:02 pm

@ Tosh

high GPA has better effect than double major with not decent grades in both majors. math is so close to physics course and it's definitely helpful if you want to do theory researches. but even for that you should have good physics background first. so if you think you can have significantly better GPA if you drop the other major do it.
btw, if you look around the forum you can see some people could get good fellowships because of their interdisciplinary studies.

Tosh
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Re: double major

Postby Tosh » Fri May 14, 2010 4:44 pm

i wouldn't say significant.. say between 3.7 and 3.8?

bears78
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Re: double major

Postby bears78 » Fri May 14, 2010 10:24 pm

Actually, I just graduated from Berkeley in Physics and Economics and almost every professors, researcher, etc. I tell comments on how much they like that combination. I don't know why, but people seem to really enjoy that mix. At Berkeley, the Econ degree is really flexible so if you do it right, you'll probably have a nice selection of math and stat courses that can really help you out. But in general, I think any positive or negative effects from doubling in economics will be dwarfed by more significant variables like research, fellowships, etc.




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