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Courses Computational Physics vs General Physics

  1. Mar 1, 2017 #1
    What are the pros and cons between choosing Computational Physics vs choosing Gen Physics? I want to make the best choice I can but I want to move on to a masters in physics but I'm not sure if Computational Physics will have me ready for the masters degree.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2017 #2
    The chances are good that the programs are the exact same for the first couple of years. At the university I went to, the computational physics sequence did not require many courses that are necessary to have for graduate school - this is not to imply that one couldn't take them, but it may be worthwhile to look at the suggested courses of study for each program. I ended up choosing both.
     
  4. Mar 1, 2017 #3
    Alright I'll look closer into them. Any noteworthy schools (non-ivy) that have graduate programs that I should look into? The school I'm starting in the fall doesn't have graduate programs for sciences.
     
  5. Mar 2, 2017 #4
    I wonder if you are attending the same university as I did. Is it in Illinois?

    One deciding factor on what is considered a "noteworthy" program is what subfield of physics you wish to study. If you want to study astrophysics, you will likely apply to a different subset of schools than if you want to study string theory, and so on. Generally people have a better idea of what they want to specialize in their junior or senior years.
     
  6. Mar 2, 2017 #5

    ZapperZ

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    Wait, I must be missing something.

    A "General Physics" course at the graduate level??!!

    {Zapper looks around the room to see if he's the only one who notices the naked Emperor}

    Zz.
     
  7. Mar 2, 2017 #6
    I think he means an undergrad degree in computational physics (which exist outside of the US) vs a standard undergrad degree in physics.
     
  8. Mar 2, 2017 #7

    ZapperZ

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    But there is a question about "non-Ivy" schools, which presumably means that the OP is going to school in the US. Or are there "Ivy" schools outside the US as well?

    Zz.
     
  9. Mar 2, 2017 #8
    I am in the USA but no I'm not in Illinois but Kansas. And yes sorry I mean undergraduate degree.
     
  10. Mar 2, 2017 #9

    ZapperZ

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    So your school offers undergraduate degrees called "General Physics" and "Computational Physics"?

    Zz.
     
  11. Mar 2, 2017 #10
    Physics and Computational Physics.
     
  12. Mar 2, 2017 #11

    Choppy

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    It's difficult to offer advice based on the title of a program.

    In some schools an undergraduate degree in "computational physics" is exactly the same as the regular physics degree, but some of the electives are replaced with computer science courses (something like a physics degree with a comp sci minor). Others may have a specific stream at the senior level where you take physics courses in numerical methods etc, but at the consequence of say senior laboratory courses.

    You might want to try to do some digging to find out where recent graduates of either stream have ended up. This is usually the best indicator for what options will be available to you.
     
  13. Mar 2, 2017 #12
    I did some research on the two. It seems to be a mix of what you said, where the Computational Physics has several CS courses but doesn't take senior labs instead taking more math courses.
     
  14. Mar 2, 2017 #13
    As I said previously, do be careful and talk to your advisor about what courses you should take as opposed to relying on only what is required. My university's "computational physics" major did not require a second semester of E&M, QM, or Classical Mechanics - all things I would have regretted not taking.
     
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