Can a chemistry undergrad go to condensed matter physics?

In summary: I will definitely get letters of recommendation from professors. It is a bit hard to say for sure, but I would say your chemistry major will be a merit if you do well in the core classes and research. Yeah I will surely take all those classes. I also plan to try grad level QM next year, don't know how it will go... but I will definitely get letters of recommendation from professors. It is a bit hard to say for sure, but I would say your chemistry major will be a merit if you do well in the core classes and research.
  • #1
chemicaholic
3
0
Hello all! I am second year undergrad at a university in US. I planned to major in chemistry and took five chemistry classes (organic and inorganic) and worked at an organic chemistry lab in my first year, but didn't really like it. After searching through all areas in chemistry and physics, I found out that condensed matter physics might be one of the areas I want to pursue in grad school (others like physical chemistry also sounds interesting to me). I saw most physics grad school applicants major in both math and physics and excel at both areas, but for me I probably don't have enough room to major in both and also don't have a strong background in them (though I'm taking classes in them).

So how hard is it to get into CMP grad school?(I might switch to P-Chem grad school if it is too hard) Would a math BS/chemistry BS/physics minor(given a strong PGRE) OR physics BA (we only have BA)/chemistry BS/math minor sound a good combination for physics grad school? Could anybody give me some advice as to how I should prepare if I really want to go to CMP grad school? I understand that grad school admission looks at research experience and GRE and grad courses and all that. But I wonder how CMP admission looks at undergrad major of math or chemistry.
 
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  • #2
chemicaholic said:
(we only have BA)

Physics BA is fine, so long as you get the "core four" upper division courses (classical mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics + statistical mechanics) and some research experience with good letters of recommendation.
 
  • #3
jtbell said:
Physics BA is fine, so long as you get the "core four" upper division courses (classical mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics + statistical mechanics) and some research experience with good letters of recommendation.
But is it super hard to get into a top 10 grad school for CMP? (My undergrad institution has a pretty high ranking so it makes me want to get into a good grad school) And will my chemistry major be a merit or demerit?
Yeah I will surely take all those classes. I also plan to try grad level QM next year, don't know how it will go...
 

Related to Can a chemistry undergrad go to condensed matter physics?

1. Can a chemistry undergrad pursue a career in condensed matter physics?

Yes, a chemistry undergrad can certainly pursue a career in condensed matter physics. Many concepts and techniques in chemistry are closely related to those in condensed matter physics. Additionally, having a strong background in chemistry can be beneficial in certain areas of condensed matter physics research, such as materials science and solid state chemistry.

2. Do I need a physics background to study condensed matter physics?

Having a solid foundation in physics is beneficial for studying condensed matter physics, but it is not always necessary. Many universities offer condensed matter physics courses specifically designed for students with a chemistry background. However, it is important to have a strong understanding of basic physics principles and mathematical skills.

3. Are there any specific skills or courses that would be helpful for a chemistry undergrad interested in condensed matter physics?

Some useful skills for a chemistry undergrad interested in condensed matter physics include a strong understanding of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics. Additionally, courses in solid state chemistry, materials science, and computational methods can also be beneficial.

4. Can a chemistry undergrad apply for graduate programs in condensed matter physics?

Yes, many graduate programs in condensed matter physics welcome students from diverse backgrounds, including chemistry. However, it is important to have a strong academic record and relevant research experience in condensed matter physics or related fields to be competitive for these programs.

5. What career opportunities are available for a chemistry undergrad with a specialization in condensed matter physics?

A chemistry undergrad with a specialization in condensed matter physics can pursue various career opportunities in research and development, materials science, and technology industries. They can also work in academic settings as researchers, professors, or postdoctoral researchers. Other career paths include working in government agencies, national labs, and consulting firms.

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