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A few questions about double majoring in Physics/Math.

  1. Apr 26, 2014 #1
    Hello everyone, next year I want to apply to Cornell and double major in Physics/Math. Is it worth it? Will double majoring in those subjects help or hurt my chances of being admitted? are they competitive or popular majors? How is the physics program at Cornell?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2014 #2
    It may or may not be worth it depending on your interests and the field you want to go into. Usually, double majoring won't effect your chances of being admitted and for most schools a student doesn't elect dual major until they've already been enrolled. Anyways, I'm not sure about the Cornell specific questions.
  4. Apr 26, 2014 #3


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    I know there are a few people on this site who study/have studied at Cornell. Hopefully they will chime in.

    Double majoring has its ups and downs. You might want to take a look at the degree requirements for each major at Cornell to see if it is even feasible to do a double major.
  5. Apr 26, 2014 #4


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    Worth it for what?

    To Cornell? It won't have any relevance to your college application. You don't even declare your major(s) until sophomore year of college. The only way in which it will affect you is your being forced to apply to the Arts and Sciences school as opposed to the Engineering school.

    I'm currently an undergrad in the Cornell physics program. It's no Princeton or MIT but it gets the job done.
  6. Apr 26, 2014 #5


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    Cornell students do very in physics grad school admissions. At all the top programs I visited, there were always a significant number of students from Cornell, probably at least five at most places. They were definitely one of the best represented schools I saw other from Stanford and MIT I think.

    I actually am graduating from another Ivy which also has a wonderful undergrad physics program. The grad program is top 20 (I think it is in many ways underrated) but is small and has many amazing professors that are all very accessible and care about teaching.

    However, I think I would want to go for undergrad if I were you (and you in) would be Stanford. Phenomenal physics department and the undergrads all seem very happy.
  7. Apr 26, 2014 #6


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    One of the reasons people double major is to keep two areas of study open as possibilities for graduate studies. If you haven't decided, it's not a bad idea.

    The down side to double majoring is that you tend to restrict your elective options. Double majoring may prevent you from branching out within one subject area completely and discovering a subfield you really like or keep you from taking a few really interesting or practical courses. However, if you would most likely have taken the courses in your second major as electives anyway, then this is a moot point and you don't have that much to lose as a double major.

    In terms of graduate school admissions, having done a double major doesn't in and of itself improve your chances for admission into a given program. Having taken and done well with a challenging course load will though.
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