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Considering changing majors from physics to computer science

  1. Sep 13, 2012 #1
    I'm majoring in physics right now, but I'm considering switching to computer science. I'm currently enrolled in electromagnetism. Since the class started I noticed something about myself: I'm not enjoying a second of it. I can't stand doing the homework, I'm disinterested in the course material, and worst of all: I hate the labs. I started doing some programming and I enrolled in the introductory course at my university, and I've been absolutely loving CS. I actually have been using my spare time to learn about programming and computers. I really enjoy CS, but I'm still unsure about changing my major. What do you guys think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2012 #2


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    If you seem to dislike everything about it, yes, you should switch.

    Maybe you should take some time to talk to more advanced physics students and ask them what the more advanced stuff is like and why they do physics. The introductory courses are not a good barometer of how well you would like being a physics major. Then you might want to do the same with CS majors to see if you're making a good decision or not.
  4. Sep 13, 2012 #3
    Have you always felt this way about your physics coursework? Which other physics classes have you taken, and how did you do in them/feel about them?

    As for the CS, sounds like you definitely have a knack for it. I'd definitely add it as a minor or double major (if you don't drop physics).
  5. Sep 13, 2012 #4
    If you don't like physics then the obvious answer is to switch. Physics isn't about the pretty concepts, its about a lot of hard work and the problem solving. So if yo don't enjoy working hard to solve problems then it isn't for you. If you don't appreciate the backbone of physics, whether your taking electromagnetism or the introductory course, then it isn't for you.

    And Pengwuino, I don't think it is justifiable to say wait for the really cool concepts. He seems to dislike a lot of things about physics so this really isn't for him -- and plus he loves a major that is more employable.

    He said he is taking electromagnetism, which is a junior level course. Perhaps he meant Calculus based physics II?
  6. Sep 13, 2012 #5


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    That's what I'm wondering. If it's just the 2nd semester intro course, he may have a bad opinion because those courses do kinda suck.
  7. Sep 13, 2012 #6
    They do kinda suck but he said he can't make himself do the homework. That means not only does it suck -- it is a big pain in the rear behind. I think if one is truly passionate (which is almost a must) about physics and mathematics then they would generally at least appreciate the backbone of what it lies on.

    As an anecdote, I was originally inspired to enter physics when I noticed that we can describe things by mathematics. Not because I wanted to wait for the really cool concepts. It strikes me as teasing a child with a candy store -- "Just keep at it a little longer and you get a lollipop."

    Reason I feel strongly about this is because even when the really cool concepts come in -- then what? Physics is a lot of hard work and requires a lot of time on one's behalf, there is a lot of grunt work. So unless you truly enjoy solving problems then you will quickly burn out -- no matter how cool the concepts.

    I guess the question we can ask the OP to clarify things is this: Do you enjoy mathematics? Do you appreciate that we can describe so many things with it?
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