Advice ..

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Hubble
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:36 am

Advice ..

Postby Hubble » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:18 am

I am a sophomore in an alright university.

Anyways, I would like a wee bit of advice. I have always liked physics and I have decided that is what I want to major in. The thing is, I will only be in Pre-Calc in the Fall >.< I did really well in math when I was in high school six years ago, but that gap. I'll have Calc I in the Spring and Calc II in the summer (I'm crazy, but determined). Which means that I won't even start my the classes for my major until the spring. I know that it is possible to do, because unlike high school, colleges really can't kick you out cause it took you a year longer or two. What I am wondering is, am I at a disadvantage when I go an apply to Grad school, because I didn't start off with my Calc and physics classes and had to make up some lost ground? Is it also a good idea to take a basic physics class to refresh some basic knowledge of the subject (my adviser suggested that I do this).

I am also running into another problem, I already have all my General Education requirements almost done, expect for the two years of another language.. I really used the first year to explore what I wanted to do.

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twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Advice ..

Postby twistor » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:32 pm

Don't worry about it. Your grades are much more important than when you took the classes. I took my entire math sequence through differential equations and linear algebra before I even started taking classes in my major. Focus on doing well and getting involved in research and you will be fine.

pkirby2
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Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 1:18 pm

Re: Advice ..

Postby pkirby2 » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:32 pm

I have a situation similar to yours. I decided I wanted to major in physics last summer going into my sophomore year. So I started Calc 1 last fall and during this summer I am taking Physics II and Calc III to make up for lost time. As I understand it, it doesn't really matter when you take the classes during your undergrad as long as you meet the requirements for the degree. If your curriculum is like mine you will be pretty busy even with the summer classes so I would use the summer between your junior and senior year to do some research at your school or get into an REU. Start off doing research as early as possible, you can't really have too much of it. The beginning physics class couldn't hurt if you have the extra credit space. The only one we have at our school isn't for physics majors though. It can't hurt you, but if you are really determined I don't think it would matter either way.

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noojens
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:59 pm

Re: Advice ..

Postby noojens » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:14 pm

The summer after your junior year is far too late to start doing research

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twistor
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Re: Advice ..

Postby twistor » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:08 pm

No. It's never too late.

theoretical_phys
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:16 am

Re: Advice ..

Postby theoretical_phys » Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:06 am

Yeah, it is never too late to do research. It is about how hard you work with the professor, the quality of the research(if you publish, etc), and the rec that comes with it.

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Helio
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Re: Advice ..

Postby Helio » Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:53 pm

I know somebody that did not start research until their senior year, did not take PEQ until the very last semester, had a 700-800 PGRE and still got in Caltech... it was a female, but there it is never too late to start research and when you take the classes does not matter as long as you take the classes.

Hubble
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:36 am

Re: Advice ..

Postby Hubble » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:20 am

Thanks for the replies and advice. I'll look into undergrad research, but I think first the dept. might have to know that I am alive.

Is being a girl an advantage that I don't know about, because I know it isn't one on a factory floor or when you are programing industrial robots and I really doubt if it is one in in physics.

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twistor
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Re: Advice ..

Postby twistor » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:20 pm

Damn those sexist robots.

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twistor
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Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Advice ..

Postby twistor » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:21 pm

And anyway, why should it be an advantage?

You should only be concerned about whether or not it's a disadvantage.




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