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Considering changing from Maths and Physics to Computer Science

  1. Sep 17, 2012 #1


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    I will in a few weeks be starting my second year of maths and physics and I have been wondering whether I should change to computer science.

    My reasons are:

    I have found the course hard and I know there will be a large step up in the second year, and so I know this time constraint means that I won't be able to do any computer science on my own.

    The difficultly of the course has caused me to lose a lot confidence in the idea that I could stay in academia in the future, something I was considering before.

    I also think I'd like to do a job where programming and computer systems knowledge is applied.

    My reasons for staying are:

    I could finish this course and then do a masters conversion in computer science.

    I do not like the idea of having to re-enter the first year, I'd feel as if I am not progressing.

    I would miss certain things such as doing pure calculus units.

    Should I change?

    Is it a good route to do a conversion course after 2 years? Or should I change as soon as possible?
    Any advice or information would be really useful.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2012 #2
    Why not just switch math to computer science? It sounds to me like you have an interest in physics, and subsequently enrolled in additional math classes to suppliment your physics base. Just switch the math to CS.
  4. Sep 17, 2012 #3


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    My university doesn't do a Physics and CS course, only Maths & Physics and Maths & CS courses.
  5. Sep 17, 2012 #4
    So don't worry about following your school's "course". Just because you can't officially get a double major in physics and CS doesn't mean you can't get a physics degree and take a lot of strong CS classes. This is especially true if you're thinking about switching to CS in grad school. I would guess that a CS department would rather admit someone with a physics (or math) BS who took a bunch of CS courses than a physics/math double major who didn't have time to take any. Simply my opinion.
  6. Sep 18, 2012 #5
    Keep in mind that physics doesn't support computer science well, it's the other way around, and math supports physics better in general. So by studying physics + CS you'd be studying two very different disciplines and where they might combine is physics simulations and calculations done computationally. Math however is extremely useful for understanding CS theory and applicable in different types of applications.

    Either switch to CS and math major or just continue with physics + math major and pick some additional CS courses.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  7. Sep 18, 2012 #6
    The OP may be from England (just a hunch) or a country which has a similar university model. Perhaps India or Australia as well. At any rate, that system is not a very flexible one, meaning the OP would have to drop out of "BSc/BS Mathematics & Physics" and re-apply to a separate university course called "BSc/BS Mathematics & Computer Science".

    Having said that, the OP may want to consider talking to say, the "Math & CS" program coordinator, and asking him or her if it would be possible to "transfer" into the said program and not have to retake the math courses already taken as part of the "Math & Physics" program. It is possible that the OP will still be graduating a year after but at least he or she could take some other courses instead of retaking those old ones.
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