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Courses Are graduate courses during undergrad necessary for a top graduate school?

  1. Jan 15, 2013 #1
    Im a physics major and will probably be able to fit in 3-4 graduate physics courses. Is this enough for top schools? Thanks for any help or advice!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2013 #2
    It's not a requirement, but there are two advantages to graduate classes. Firstly, you get a head start. Secondly, at tops schools, most of your best competition will have taken many of them. 3-4 is enough, but ideally, you might want to have gotten all your first-year graduate classes out of the way, some of which will probably be taken after the applications, so they won't show up on your record.
  4. Jan 15, 2013 #3
    Also, would it be better to minor in math or to take an additional graduate physics course. I have one free elective and could use it for either. And after some minor adjusting I can probably do 5-6 grad courses which I think is solid
  5. Jan 15, 2013 #4
    A lot of people here would tell you to focus on physics, but you might want to consider the fact that many Nobel Prize winners actually got a double major in math and physics. It just depends on what you are interested in doing. If math interests you and you want to do more theoretical stuff, go for the math minor.
  6. Jan 15, 2013 #5
    Is double majoring in math helpful for theoretical? I like math but love physics.From what I've read, the math you use in physics is different than upper level math, so the math major isnt too useful. Not sure if I buy that though
  7. Jan 15, 2013 #6
    I think the minor, at least, would would probably pay off pretty well. For the major, again, it depends on what you want to do. If you want to do string theory, I would say a double major would be a very good idea, for example, if not mandatory.

    I'm a math PhD student, by the way. I study topology and some mathematical physics, but I don't know the physics that well. It does give you some insights, particularly if you know where to look.
  8. Jan 15, 2013 #7
    Hm definitely leaning towards the math major. Seems to be enough overlap and id get a lot more physics grad courses in too.
  9. Jan 15, 2013 #8
    Thanks for your response by the way, it really was insightful
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