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Programs Chemistry-Based Research Program or more Math/CS Courses?

To sum up the current biggest stress of my life into a question: do you recommend that I stay in a biology/chemistry-based research program or pursue proof-based math courses?

I am a freshman physics major at a good research university. I was invited into a very difficult program for "future research scientists" that would require me to take 2 semesters of general chemistry and organic chemistry respectively. The program has mostly biochemistry and chemistry majors (with few physics majors like me invited and sprinkled in there) and has a biochemistry/chemistry focus (despite the fact that I was invited as a physics major). The benefits of the program are a $10,000 research stipend to stay on campus and do research for the summers before my junior and senior years. Additionally, I am required to double-major in an additional science through completing this program and/or obtaining a master's degree in a natural science. (I would try to double major physics with biophysics to avoid taking too many chem courses. Still, I would have to take organic chem next year.) If I stay in this program and double-major in two natural sciences, I will likely not have time to take any CS courses, upper-level math courses, or any other courses that interest me outside of the natural sciences.

Another class I am taking now and am trying to balance with this program and my other classes is a proof-based calculus course. This course is not required for my major (I could just take standard multi-variable calc), but I hear that introducing yourself to proof-based math early will prepare you for upper-level math courses. This math course teaches about the fundamentals of calculus and then multi-variable calculus through proofs but is very time consuming. I find it cool, but I don't find barely having any free time with both this program and this course cool.

With that being said, would a double-major in natural sciences help me if I were to pursue physics in grad school more than being able to take math/CS courses would? And sure, the research stipend is appealing, but I can find plenty of other options for research outside of the program at my school. I don't think I can do both; there are only 24 hours in a day. I also need to find time for my work-study program and for free time.

TL;DR: Physics + double major in natural sciences (and have to take more chem than CS/upper-math) along with research stipend for 2 summers of research or Physics + Minor or double major in either CS/math but miss out on a research stipend?


Homework Helper
I think no one has responded because they don't want to be the reason why you pick one or the other, or because they don't know how to help you make this decision. I don't mind if I am the reason, but that's just me :). Surely no one is going to push you into something you don't want to do, and I won't either. If you don't want to do it, don't.

I always go back to, what do you want your CV or resume to say? This is me, I am a what?

Hope this helps.


Science Advisor
Gold Member
I'm very confused. The program only requires you to take two chemistry classes? And CS doesn't count as a science? Also, biophysics might be tough without a decent chemistry background.


Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
I'm very confused. The program only requires you to take two chemistry classes? And CS doesn't count as a science? Also, biophysics might be tough without a decent chemistry background.
As some clarification, General Chemistry is two semesters, and Organic Chemistry is two semesters. General Chemistry is a prerequisite for Organic Chemistry. These are to be taken over a two-year period.

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