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Can I make it through a Physics degree?

  1. Jul 16, 2015 #1
    Hey! So I am in a bit of a situation, let me explain:

    I did my GCE A Levels (British high school curriculum) and did not do too well in Physics in particular, due to some serious health issues.

    I am now in university. I started out taking a biology major and, after continuously dealing with the aforementioned health issues, "wasted" a lot of time. Basically, I am taking second year courses even though it is going to be my fifth year here. However, I believe I am very persistent and I really want to achieve something, despite everything I have been through.

    I decided to switch to Computer Science and Mathematics (my university requires you to double major at least). I'm really enjoying my math courses but I find that I don't have the knack for computer science.

    This is why I am now debating on whether or not to choose physics as my second major, so that would mean a double major in Physics and Mathematics.

    The problem is that it has been 5 years since I last studied physics. I still got accepted into the major however, due to my high school marks. And I am confident that I can get into the Mathematics major as well, so that isn't the issue.

    How should I approach this? Do you recommend that I pursue physics as one of my majors? If so, how should I go about preparing for it? I know that this forum is a wealth of information so I will certainly look through it! But is my goal of doing physics even realistic? I am pretty nervous, so please help me out!

    (By the way, I am not "dull"... I did get into medical school in the UK after the interview and everything. It's just that my health concerns made it damn near impossible for me to study. And I am not gloating obviously. If I had everything lined up then I wouldn't be asking this question!)

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2015 #2
    If you are good at math, you are ahead of the game. Give the introductory courses a shot, or try some online coursework to see what you are in for.
  4. Jul 16, 2015 #3
    Agree. You must have already done calculus, etc.

    An aside. You haven't indicated 'why' physics. Do you have an interest? Career goal? I took my degree in science (geology) with a minor in music. I could have as easily been a music teacher for the last 35 years and taught some high school science classes...instead of being a geologist. Anyways, have you considered taking something outside of the sciences?
  5. Jul 17, 2015 #4
    Thank you for your reply. I forgot to mention, I recieved a transfer credit for first year physics when I joined the university. Thus, I have no choice but to take second year courses. I do realize that knowing mathematics will help though.
  6. Jul 17, 2015 #5
    I am very interested in physics. In truth, there are many many things I am interested in studying. But physics seems like a good major to pair with math. it's just the matter of whether or not it would be wise to pursue it in my position. Those second year physics courses look tough as nails already, especially to me because I haven't taken physics in like 5 years!
  7. Jul 17, 2015 #6
    OK, then take a second year course. My second year courses were: Modern Physics, Mathematical Methods in Physics, Classical Mechanics, and E&M.

    Of these E&M and Modern Physics are most likely to give you a sense of what majoring in physics will be like.
  8. Jul 17, 2015 #7
    Do you think someone with no physics knowledge (anymore) will make it through knowing just math? My second year courses are Electromagnetism, Thermal Physics and Fluid Mechanics, Vibrations and Waves, and Thermodynamics and Kinetics.

  9. Jul 17, 2015 #8
    It depends on how quickly the older material comes back to you and how fast you can learn what doesn't to bridge the gap.
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