Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Ancient Greek over Modern Physics? I'm a Math, Nuke E major

  1. Jul 26, 2011 #1
    Ancient Greek over Modern Physics?? I'm a Math, Nuke E major


    This fall, I'm 3rd yr math major w/ a nuke E minor, & looking to get into grad school in Nuke E.

    It's alright if you say this is stupid, I merely want to know what you think.

    I plan to take ancient greek 101 over modern physics (schedule conflict). Yes, that's right. I took Latin for two semesters and enjoyed it, and am excited to start Greek. I have a huge interest in classical lit and culture. mAth is just another hobby.

    Modern physics at my school is a 2 part course over 2 semesters, and by taking greek, I can only take the first semester. What would the grad school admissions people say / think? My main concern is I don't want to look like a slacker or something, by taking these 101 courses (Even if I am highly interested in them).

    Once again, just looking for thoughts, opinions. Thx
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2011 #2
    Re: Ancient Greek over Modern Physics?? I'm a Math, Nuke E major

    If you want to go to graduate school for Nuke-Eng, you need to be prepared to take nuclear physics upon entering. I think that most schools (depending on what area you want to specialize in -- fusion, fission, a more plasma-physics route, etc) expect you to have taken a nuclear physics course before entering. I have, in a very passive-minded way, been looking at texas a&m and wisconsin madison's nuclear engineering grad programs. Rest assured that I can in fact tell you that neither one of these schools listed a nuclear physics (to which Modern Physics would be a pre-requisite) as an end all be all requirement, but I do think that it would significantly help to have it.

    Madison had a list of courses published. Below this list they basically said, "If you have not taken at least x of these courses, don't bother applying". One of these courses was nuclear physics (additionally, I remember an advanced math course beyond differential equations, like Real Analysis; thermodynamics/fluids; materials science; and some others, I don't remember of the top of my head..mostly stuff that is covered in an ME curriculum).

    I think that it would be most wise to speak with your adviser and see if you re-arrange your schedule to squeeze in physics III, and get nuclear physics in sometime during your 4th year, if you are truly considering nuclear engineering graduate school.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I know for a fact that you can get into, and do very well in, a nuclear engineering program with nothing more than a degree in mechanical engineering (in fact, from what I know, this is where many nuclear engineers start). However, you are a mathematics major, not ME, and not knowing how how deep into the NE curriculum you are going leaves me pretty much in the dark.

    You could be 2 credits from having a second major, or have only taken 15 credits...
    What I can say is that I highly doubt a NE grad program would admit a mathematician.

    Sorry, I sort-of got away from the question. In the end, if you are otherwise admissible I cannot imagine that taking ancient greek 101 would keep you form being admitted, but before deciding to take ancient greek 101, I would put serious thought into whether you have taken sufficient NE-applicable coursework to be a competitive candidate. Ask your adviser. Check with the programs you are interested in.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook