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CS Major + Physics Minor useful?

  1. Oct 16, 2011 #1
    Hey, there! I'm currently a senior in highschool, getting ready to apply to universities in the next month or two and I had some questions.

    I've found so far that I really have three fields that I thoroughly enjoy, Physics, Math and Computer Science. After looking at all of my interests and what I would like to do as a career, I've decided that I want to get my honors in Computer Science major at Carleton (in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) with a specialization in Game Development. Though, to be honest, between the different specializations that they offer (Software Engineering, Security Design, Game Development, Mobile Development, etc.) the only differences is are a few courses.

    Anyways, although I'm pretty set on my computer science major, I'm having a hard time choosing a minor. I really love physics, mainly Mechanical/Kinetic physics, though we have really only learned about electromagnetism, Sound, Thermodynamics and Kinetic so far. I'll be taking my Gr.12 physics course next semester.

    So really, I'm wondering, how useful is a physics minor? Even though I enjoy it very much, I'm not sure if it will help me at all later in life. Or maybe minors don't really help anyways? I don't know. I'd love to hear some input from people who have taken a minor in physics or any personal experiences.


  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2011 #2
    Bump. Really hoping for responses <3
  4. Oct 17, 2011 #3
    I did the opposite, physics was my major but I took a fair amount of courses in CS and Math. It worked out well for me but I had an exact career in mind when I was in school. I wanted to work on computational software for a scientific company, specifically in physics. When I was in school I did everything I could to get company name's, contacts, skills they wanted, etc. That information motivated me to take certain classes and work with professors on the topics that I knew many companies wanted.

    If you don't know exactly what you want to do, then take the physics minor for enjoyment. There's absolutely no guilt in that.
  5. Oct 17, 2011 #4
    If you want to be a physicist, it won't be enough.

    Also, there's the issue of what exactly a minor requires you to do. At the University of Hawaii, a physics minor is just two additional upper level courses. You could get a minor without ever taking electromagnetism or quantum mechanics.
  6. Oct 17, 2011 #5


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    It depends on what you want to do. I got a physics degree with a few classes (not a minor) in programming. Programming is indepsensable in my research... and, in my opinion, in ANY research. To take your experiments and theories from data to visualization is a lot of work that can be done beautifully with good programming skills and programs. But my profession is still in research, not programming.

    We had someone in my class that got three BS degrees at once: mathematics, physics, and computer science. He now works in quantum computing.

    If you just want to more design software for scientsits, you're going down the right route, I think. NSF is now requiring a data management plan for all proposals, so there's probably going to be a market for science-savvy programmers.
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