BA Physics with a dual degree in another science

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rsmith20
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BA Physics with a dual degree in another science

Postby rsmith20 » Thu May 15, 2008 12:09 pm

So I am just curious if anyone has any opinions on getting in with a dual degree, BA in physics and BS in another science subject. I am currently pursuing a BA Physics/BS Optics at one of only a couple undergraduate programs in Optics in the US and I plan to apply to grad schools for physics (I'm thinking Stanford, UChicago, Northwestern, UIUC). Thanks.

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Helio
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Re: BA Physics with a dual degree in another science

Postby Helio » Thu May 15, 2008 12:51 pm

interesting not Boulder?

Anyway, the question is wahat most people are wondering right is... what are the major difference between the optics and physics program? At my institute of higher education the optics class is the EM wave stuff (second semester EM for physics) and first semester quantum (it is the pre-req for the class).

rsmith20
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Re: BA Physics with a dual degree in another science

Postby rsmith20 » Thu May 15, 2008 5:32 pm

The difference is that the optics curriculum goes into more depth regarding the applications of optics, for example a class on aberrations. The optics curriculum is more of a specific treatment of the physics of light, instead of a general undergraduate physics curriculum. Additionally, the optics classes are an introduction to geometrical optics, physical optics, computational methods, quantum theory of optics, aberrations and interferometry, EM theory, an advanced mathematics class, and an optoelectronics class, as well as various laboratory classes. From the BA, I will have also taken thermodynamics/statistical mechanics, classical mechanics, gravitation and general relativity, and a general quantum class, instead of the quantum theory of optics. I guess the real question comes down to this: does your degree specifically matter, versus the classes you take. But I think that might have been answered in a different post.

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will
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Re: BA Physics with a dual degree in another science

Postby will » Thu May 15, 2008 8:13 pm

I think it's been answered a few times, that they don't really care what your degree is, but they want to make sure you have some baseline understanding of all the topics they expect you to master at the graduate level. If you're planning to do research in optics, your undergraduate education will be a huge advantage in the application process. If you want to do experimental condensed matter, your lack of breadth in traditional physics topics might hurt.

FORTRAN
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Re: BA Physics with a dual degree in another science

Postby FORTRAN » Thu May 15, 2008 9:36 pm

Would it help if you were planning to go into astronomy for grad school to have dual degrees in physics and astronomy? It obviously wouldn't hurt but would it be more favorable to a less competetive gpa?

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Helio
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Re: BA Physics with a dual degree in another science

Postby Helio » Fri May 16, 2008 6:04 pm

as long as you satisfy the QM and EM requirements, there should be no problem with getting into a program with a faculty member in optics, but as will pointed out if you want to do something else you will run into problems. general QM is handy dandy, but it is usually a year long course not just semester, so is EM. Optics EM will focus on electrodynamics, while electrostatics might just be brushed over. Both are really important to understand to see some of the relationships between QM and classical theory




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