Admissions opinion of Mathematical Physics major

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ComboOrgan
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Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:39 pm

Admissions opinion of Mathematical Physics major

Postby ComboOrgan » Tue May 13, 2008 1:53 pm

I'm currently working on a BS in Mathematical Physics. I'm wondering how this would look to grad schools, as opposed to a regular BS in physics. The mathematical physics major is similar to a Physics BS, with some higher level math added at the expense of a few senior level physics courses.

I'm still at a point where I can switch to regular physics and graduate at the same time, albeit with a little difficulty.

I assume mathematical physics would be most useful for folks interested in theory? I'm most interested right now in Experimental High Energy.

Can anyone offer some advice? How do admissions people view someone majoring in "Mathematical Physics"? Will this hurt my chances?

Thanks for your help

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will
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:26 pm

Re: Admissions opinion of Mathematical Physics major

Postby will » Tue May 13, 2008 3:02 pm

You're right; mathematical physics will definitely look good if you're going into theory. If you want to do experiment, I don't see it necessarily hurting unless you do math classes at the expense of lab classes, though. Then you're in tough beans.

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grae313
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Admissions opinion of Mathematical Physics major

Postby grae313 » Tue May 13, 2008 5:31 pm

I'll offer my own scenario as anecdotal information. I double majored in chemistry and physics and had success with top ten physics programs. I'm interested in experimental condensed matter. I missed out on a lot of upper division physics electives, but my added chemistry background was relevant to my proposed field. As long as your eduction contains the fundamental upper division physics classes and is relevant to your proposed field of study, it shouldn't hurt you. The question is, how relevant will your added math background be to experimental HEP? Will you be missing out on physics classes that *are* relevant to experimental HEP? I don't know because it is not my field.

ComboOrgan
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:39 pm

Re: Admissions opinion of Mathematical Physics major

Postby ComboOrgan » Wed May 14, 2008 1:11 pm

Thanks for the replies.

If things go as planned, I will have a few extra slots during the second semester of my senior year to take some classes which are part of the regular Physics BS but not part of the requirement for the Mathematical Physics BS. Unfortunately, this will be after my grad school application is in and processed, so it won't factor in to my admission decision. Do you think this is something that is worth explaining on my essay?

perplexity
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:01 pm

Re: Admissions opinion of Mathematical Physics major

Postby perplexity » Wed May 14, 2008 2:12 pm

Although the grades won't be on your transcript, the schools you're applying to will see that those classes are on your schedule for the spring. If they're classes that are important for admissions to graduate school then the fact that you'll have completed them by the time you graduate should be enough. After all, everyone should be taking classes during the spring of their senior year that are applicable to graduate school... (unfortunately) it's not as though we're done with classes after the first semester.

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grae313
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Re: Admissions opinion of Mathematical Physics major

Postby grae313 » Thu May 15, 2008 3:04 am

this is true, most of the applications have a section where you list your courses in progress and your courses planned for your final semester. The only drawback is, they won't be able to see the awesome grades you will get in these classes, and your grades in your upper division physics classes are important. :wink:




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