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

Programs Background good enough for Physics PhD?

  1. Aug 2, 2010 #1
    Hi guys, this is my first post in this forum, i joined mainly to get this doubt clarified, which would eventually decide whether i'll be a physicist or something else.

    I am doing bsc in math, i'm kind of interested in theoretical physics, especially cosmology and i learned that a sound background in math would allow me to join cambridge university's msc in pure math and theoretical physics program which can pave way for my phd henceforth. i read in some thread that despite getting admission to elite programs, if one does not had the opportunity to study some physics courses like classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and the like at under graduate level, it would be very hard for him to survive the first year of his phd, since, they stress upon these topics at advanced undergraduate/graduate level. now, if i want to go for the cambridge's phd (after my msc there), i assume there won't be any big trouble IN GAINING ADMISSION and of course surviving the first year of their phd. But, in case if i want to go to USA, i can sense that would be a huge trouble, that's what i infered after going through some pages here.

    so would you guys kindly advice me for choosing my options, my need being gaining admission at best schools in usa and helping my background so as to survive 1st year of my phd, and the coming years. you have to choose 4 out of these (i thought of choosing math physics 1, 2, 3 since it is mainly related to theoretical physics, but i seek ur advice, anything better?:
    Classical Mechanics I, II, III
    Electromagnetism I, II, III
    Mathematical Physics I, II, III
    Quantum Mechanics I, II, III
    Statistical Mechanics I, II, III
    Atomic and Molecular Physics
    General Theory of Relativity
    Condesned Matter Physics
    Nuclear and Particle Physics
    Quantum Field Theory

    Thanks for one and all and good luck with your endeavours!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2010 #2
    it says this pose have been MOVED, what does it mean?
  4. Aug 3, 2010 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    It means you posted it in the wrong forum and it has been moved to the academic advice forum.
  5. Aug 3, 2010 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    IMO: Class Mech, E&M, QM, and Statistical Mechanics are the foundations of physics that are really important. I'm not sure what exactly the I, II, and III mean precisely, but I would try to take one of each of those courses.
  6. Aug 3, 2010 #5
    Hi, thanks for your reply, I have attached the brief description of the courses, i believe it would help you in advicing me!!

    Attached Files:

  7. Aug 10, 2010 #6
    Do you mean the part iii and DAMPT?
    And what year are you?

    If you want to do a cosmology PhD in the USA then you will certainly need to study those topics at MSc level. If you have studied them at MSc level, what you take now will be mostly irrelevant when it comes to applying for a PhD.
    BUT, you can't study them at MSc level if you're not ready for them. Look at the websites of where you want to do the MSc. They nearly always have course descriptions and course requirements. Match these requirements to your choices now...
  8. Aug 10, 2010 #7
    Yeah, you should take:

    Whatever introductory course in classical mechanics and E&M. 1 or 2 advanced classes on classical mechanics, 1 or 2 in E&M, and 1 or 2 in quantum mechanics.

    And that's at a bare minimum, you should hopefully also have some experience with statistical mechanics and special relativity, and ideally you would have 2 advanced courses in each of those (classical mech, E&M, QM). Without those extra courses (meaning just the aforementioned minimum courses), you might get by but you'll bust your butt.
  9. Aug 10, 2010 #8
    Thanks for your reply. Onamor, yes it is DAMPT!!

    If I go with GoldPheonix's advice, I think the best thing to do is to take Classical Mechanics I, Electromagnetism I, Statistical Mechanics I and Quantum Mechanics I, sadly I am allowed to take only 4!

    Do you think I can gain admission with that to an MSc?

    I hope I can do the advanced level courses in my MSc to save my butt from getting bust. LOL!

    Thanks again!!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook