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Double Major or Single Major?

  1. Jun 7, 2005 #1
    Hi. I am a Junior now and have to decide what major to declare. It is very clear in my mind that I will major Physics but I also have it in my mind to double major Math. But, here comes the problem. I feel that I have to study more math in order to do better and go higher in Physics. That's essecially why I started thinking about double majoring the math. So I've got it all figured out what my schedule should looks like If I doulbe major Math. It turned out that I might have to stay one more year or at least one more semester(or two quarters). Is it really worth it? I heard some people saying that it will help to look good for my graduate school application if I have Math as my second major. But I also heard some people saying that it looks really bad if I stay as undergrad more than the regular two years. So I am totally lost at this point. I am already turning 22 years old now. So, if there is anyone who's already in Graduate program in Physics or anybody who knows much about the Graduate selection process, I beg your advise based on my concerns!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 7, 2005 #2
    how about taking math as a minor? it would involve less courses and therefore less stress, and you'll still be able to put it on your application.
  4. Jun 7, 2005 #3
    I think you shouldn't worry about what graduate school's are going to like better in terms of a math double major or a person who graduated in 4 years or two years for transfers. My advise is to learn whatever you enjoy learning. But you can always declare the double major and just get a minor later if you decide that the classes begin to seem pointless or just to seem to interest you as much anymore. Make your schedule so that you are able to graduate from your primary major on time.
  5. Jun 7, 2005 #4


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    There is something to be concerned with here. Are you thinking of double-majoring in math also because you think you need A LOT of math JUST to "go higher in physics"?

    If that reasoning is true, then ALL physics majors would be required to double-major in math. This, obviously, is false. While you do need a lot of mathematics to do physics, you don't have to double-major in math to do physics. You MAY want to double major in physics and math if you (i) have a keen interest in BOTH subject and/or (ii) if you intend to be a theorist (ugh) when you go on to graduate school. Doing a double major just because you think you need it to do physics would be doing it for the wrong reason. You can get sufficient mathematics by taking a course in mathematical physics, which I'm sure UCSD and many school offers.

  6. Jun 7, 2005 #5
    do you plan to do theoretical or laboratory? and have you planned to do projects? if not then i say a 5 year may be beneficial to do some prof projects.
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