I've always loved physics but have had this (hopefully) false notion that you need to be some sort of analytical genius to get anywhere doing actual physics research so I always told myself I would just follow engineering. This past year (Junior year of highschool) a degree in physics started to seem much more in reach though. A teacher recommended me to skip a year of math classes and go straight into AP Calculus BC and I plan on taking AP Physics:C Mechanics and E&M as an independent study course under the supervision of my 10th grade physics teacher (who has a degree in physics himself). I'm also pretty confident I could get into a fairly good program at one of my state universities (ranked about 30-40) if I chose to pursue a physics & math double major. I have a couple of questions about the flexibility of a physics degree though: 1) Say I finish my undergrad education and don't have the grades/GRE/etc. to get into a top 20 grad program. Is a masters in engineering (electrical or aerospace) or comp. science at a mediocre school within reach at that point even if I havent done any research related to engineering? 2) Say I get a Phd at an okay school (ranked ~30th) what are my opportunities in industry? How about from a top 20 program? 3) Kind of unrelated but since I'm pretty ahead in high school I'm basically going to skip the entire underdivision curriculum excluding ODE, Calc 3, and Intro to modern physics. Is it okay to take all of these classes in my first semester or would that be too much? Is it necessary to know ODE and Calc. 3 concepts before taking intro to modern physics? Thanks for any help guys.