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A year of liberal arts before Physics BS?

  1. Nov 24, 2011 #1
    After many months of struggling, I've decided that I would like to study higher Mathematics/Physics. However, I initially wanted to be a writer (fiction) and have a strong interest in literature, and the arts, in general. In fact, I will probably always keep on writing as long as time permits. Due to the way in which my country's educational system is designed, I was never able to dedicate enough time to studying literature/classics/etc.

    I also feel like a drastic change in my environment would do me a lot of good. I feel somewhat suffocated here and maybe going away for a while would be nice. I know where I can do a 3-year BS program, where I will only be doing the subject specified - there's a few universities I think I have a shot at getting in.

    I have a found a liberal arts college in Germany, which seems to fit my exact needs. Frankly, I was not certain how I would do this and stumbling upon this school was a very pleasant surprise. Admissions are need blind and they offer need-based financial aid. They have a one-year program and a four-year BA. I'm not very interested in the four-year BA as I would like to go to grad school in math/physics.

    Here is a link to the school. What do you think of this plan? Would it be crazy to even consider this? The way I see it, here's how it's gonna work:

    One year of arts ---> 3 years of math/physics either here, or at CMI ---> grad school

    I also would be able to afford it, assuming that I can get into this ECLA school.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2011 #2
    sounds awesome, but why cant you do a normal 4 year degree and take extra writing classes each semester, and possibly do an extra semester or summer?
  4. Nov 24, 2011 #3
    Tuition fees for out-of-state applicants are preposterous and I'm not a US-resident/citizen, which means I'm not eligible for FAFSA. I still wouldn't be able to afford the 2+2 route, with the initial 2 years being spent at a community college. If I work harder at my math, I can get a very good degree in India for a fraction of the cost ($2-3k) and still go to graduate school in Europe or the USA.

    Well, thank you. I can't remember the last time I felt this excited about something!
  5. Nov 24, 2011 #4
    i guess what im saying is, why cant you stay at your home school or whatever and study? or are you saying that the literature / writing portion of what you want to study needs to take place outside of your home country?
  6. Nov 24, 2011 #5
    your interest in writing, and presumably strong skills, in two very different fields, will make you a very diverse applicant for graduate school in the US/EU. . . so if you are able to take those classes at IIT or something, there is no need to spend all of that money to study in germany or whatever, unless those programs arent offered to you at home.
  7. Nov 24, 2011 #6
    If you start the Physics program, you study Physics and only physics. There are no general education requirements.

    The arts/literature department is horrible. Most of teachers in high school studied there or in India, and to be honest, I'm not certain how they managed to get their teaching post, let alone, their degree...
    Very few literature/language teachers were actually decent. I had one who had printed pages of SparkNotes stuck between the pages of her book and she pretended it was her own work. University here, especially if I study a humanities subject, is going to be high school all over again. :(

    If I am not admitted to the German school, I would rather stay home and study literature on my own than go there. :O

    Haha, I'm not from India and I'm not very good at Chemistry either. I don't know if you've seen an IIT exam but it's insane. These kids put many hours into cramming for this test and I am not willing to subject myself to such rubbish. But I do appreciate your input and that's why I made this thread. I would like to know what you folks here think about this. There's probably a few things I haven't considered and if there is a huge hole in this plan, maybe I should reconsider.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
  8. Nov 24, 2011 #7
    where are you from? im completely lost. . .
  9. Nov 24, 2011 #8


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    Mepris, just in case you are wondering Mike Judge graduated with a degree in physics and he has made some great productions including movies like Office Space and Extract and series including Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill:


    Again this illustrates the unnecessary need to get formal qualifications in literature/writing and it might give you ideas about how to pursue this route by learning what he did. I'm sure you'll get an idea or two.
  10. Nov 25, 2011 #9
    Cheers for that. I'll look into what he did.

    It's good you mentioned "formal qualifications". I don't necessarily need a diploma or degree. It just so happens that I found a place that could get me that *and* what looks like a small, yet, great group of people with whom I can discuss literature and philosophy, which is something I don't know where else I could find. If anyone's got any ideas...?
  11. Nov 27, 2011 #10
    You don't have to learn everything in class. If you want to study literature, then buy books and read them.

    Also knowing a lot about literature is a completely different set of skills than being a good writer.
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