28 year old wanting to change to Physics

deleted20110713
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:23 pm

28 year old wanting to change to Physics

Postby deleted20110713 » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:31 am

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Last edited by deleted20110713 on Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

nathan12343
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Re: 28 year old wanting to change to Physics

Postby nathan12343 » Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:15 am

Well, you will have to go back and complete an undergrad physics degree to start with. After that, you'll have to go back to grad school. All together, this might take about a decade to complete if you're serious about gettting a Ph.D. in physics.

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noojens
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Re: 28 year old wanting to change to Physics

Postby noojens » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:31 am

Of course it's possible. It's a long road, but if it's what you're passionate about then it's what you should do.

A complete undergraduate degree isn't necessary. You will, however, have to take perhaps eight to twelve undergraduate classes (four math classes, two intro physics classes, and as many upper division physics classes as you can) to prepare yourself for graduate work. If you go to school full time, you can probably knock those out in two solid years, and be ready to enter a PhD program at age 30.

To be a competitive grad school applicant you also need research experience and a good physics GRE score. You'll have to work on both of those while taking heavy loads of challenging classes. It'll be difficult, you won't be able to make any money while you do it, and it'll suck up most of your waking life. But if you're truly passionate about it, you'll probably enjoy it.

slugger
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Re: 28 year old wanting to change to Physics

Postby slugger » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:41 pm

This is a similar situation to someone else on this forum, he studied economics but has the advantage of having taken a number of math classes, and he claims to have scored a PGRE score of 960, which murdered a hell of a lot of people i know with bachelors degrees in the subject (not the least of which is myself...yikes!). I have to say this kind of situation makes me so curious--why music all those years ago, why history after that, and why physics now? Especially with your GPA are you not somewhat worried that maybe you are just not a driven student in general (this is not an insult but an observation, my undergrad GPA was 3.0 and even worse in my major and i can definately say that it was precisely because i was lazy). Moreover how do you know physics is it for you without ever having studied it--did you think history was your calling when u applied to penn? How do you know that you wont feel disillusioned with physics too? I know this sounds harsh, but at 28 and with 2 unrelated degrees with which you are unsatisfied and no experience either professionally or even scholastically in a technical field (not to mention i am guessing some significant student debt), I would recommend doing some serious soul searching before embarking on something as time consuming and competitive as physics. With that said, and before i start sounding like someone's dad, it is always worth remembering that Ed Witten's bachelor's degree was in journalism--and hell, John Nash's kid didnt even get a bachelor's degree before he went into grad study in math (as rumor has it), so if you are sure go for it, but think critically first.

deleted20110713
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:23 pm

Re: 28 year old wanting to change to Physics

Postby deleted20110713 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:34 am

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Last edited by deleted20110713 on Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

djt05d
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Re: 28 year old wanting to change to Physics

Postby djt05d » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:30 pm

Oh wow Stony Brook as an undergrad. So I also know someone who was kind of in your situtation. I'm actually at Brookhaven natl. lab right now for summer research. There is a professor here working in collaboration with our school, Dr. Fadem He was a theatre major and at 27 decided he wanted to do physics. He is now a physics professor at Muhlenberg Univ and a researcher here at the lab working on PHENIX involved with probing the spin structure of the proton. Man all I have to say is if there is a will there is a way. You can do anything, doesn't mean it will always be easy. And it seems that it's those things in life that aren't so easy that bring the most satisfaction in the end. I say if physics is your dream, go for it!

-Dillon-




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