1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Are my math courses sufficient for Grad School?

  1. Jul 17, 2015 #1
    I want to study either solid state or relativity. I have taken CalcI-III + odes. I find most of the math I remember is taught to me in physics classes, e.g. Linear algebra in Classical Mechanics, Vectors analysis in EM. Would it hurt me if I didn't take Calc 4 - Vector analysis or PDEs which are optional? I rather focus on my upper level courses in physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I don't think it would hurt. Most graduate programs have their own math requirements, so you might end up repeating some of the topics anyway. Being strong in your core is going to be the most important consideration for graduate school. That said, I think that the more math you know, the more tools you have for attacking tough problems, so if you find yourself with some extra time, more math classes couldn't hurt.
  4. Jul 17, 2015 #3
    Four semesters of math is a little light, unless your Physics Dept has an excellent reputation for picking up the slack in the Physics coursework.

    I think I had 25 or so credit hours of math, in addition to Mathematical Methods in Physics, and oodles of math along with the physics courses.

    Vector Analysis would be great for Relativity and a numerical analysis course would be great for solid state.
  5. Jul 17, 2015 #4
    My opinion is that every physics major who's going to grad school should take PDE's. It's immensely helpful for upper level physics courses anyways. If not PDE's, then at least take a mathematical methods course for physics that covers solutions to PDE's and Fourier analysis.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook