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Double major in math & physics- worth the extra time/money?

  1. Apr 28, 2015 #1
    I'll keep it short and sweet.

    - Planning on going into the field of astrophysics. That's all I know for now.
    - As of now, I'm going to graduate this December with a bachelor's degree in physics.
    - If I stay an extra semester, I can also obtain a bachelor's in math.
    - Already in debt.
    - Living hours away from my girlfriend (been together 6 years) is not easy.

    Given the field that I'm going to, how beneficial would it be for me to have both degrees?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2015 #2


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    Having a double major itself is unlikely to have a significant impact on graduate admissions decisions or an overall impact on the rest of your career. The advantages that it may confer would largely come down to the knowledge and skill you would get out of the extra classes that you wouldn't otherwise have. In that respect a lot could really depend on the specific project that you choose to take on for a PhD. The double major would qualify you for graduate work in a mathematics department if you think your interests might lean that way.

    With that said, what are the alternatives to the extra semester? Do you think you would be able to get a job if you had that time off? What would it be doing and how much would it pay? And if it was reasonably good, would you be happy to drop it for graduate school? The reason I bring up these questions is that unless you have a plan, it's real easy to do a whole lot of nothing with your time.
  4. Apr 29, 2015 #3
    If you're very interested in mathematics, then take it.
    If you think the bachelors degree in math will somehow help you in your career as astrophysicist, then that's not a sufficient reason.
  5. Apr 29, 2015 #4


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    You left out OTHER important information here:

    1. Are you planning on going to graduate school (which is probably needed if you want to go into astrophysics), or are you planning on going into the job market for now?

    2. Do you already have an admission into a graduate school, or have you applied to any?

    3. Graduating in December and seeking a Winter/Spring admission is usually not as easy as the traditional Fall admission. It will certainly be a lot more difficult, almost impossible, to get any kind of assistantship, so you may end up having to pay for you at least a semester if you receive an admission. Is this something that you have considered?

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