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Programs Chemical physics PhD questions

  1. Nov 4, 2012 #1
    For those of you who have experience with these programs, I have some questions.

    How competitive are they generally? They don't seem like they get a lot of applicants.

    Is it a bad idea to ONLY apply to chemical physics programs as a chemistry major? There are 5 schools I know of with chemical physics PhD programs. Is it pushing my luck to apply only to these 5 for graduate school?

    My physics background is not as great as a physics major - only advance classical and quantum mechanics courses and 2 summers of biophysics research. Will this hurt me if I'm willing to learn what I've missed out on (statistical mechanics and electromagnetism and optics)? Will they let you make up for a lack of physics courses in graduate school?

    Do they favor physics majors over chemistry majors?

    Thanks for any answers.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2012 #2
    I'd say don't worry about it. Most are housed primarily in the department of chemistry so you have your answer right there.
  4. Nov 4, 2012 #3
    My friend is a PhD student at Harvard right now for Chemical Physics, and his first semester there he is taking a couple of QM courses. The only physics classes he took in his undergrad was a year of introductory physics courses, and I think one other class related physical chemistry. I don't know what his REU consisted of, but you definitely have more physics experience than he did. If you take the same courseload work of advanced chem classes (Quantum/Advanced Analytical, Thermo, Computational chem, Statistical Methods, etc.) then I'd think you'd be a very strong candidate for any school you want, pretty much
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