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Dual major in chemistry and physics of physics and math

  1. Jul 29, 2005 #1
    dual major in chemistry and physics or physics and math

    oops, I meant dual major in chem and physics OR physics and math.

    So what do you think is better for someone who wants to go into theoretical physics? Should I go for a dual major in chem and physics and a minor in math, or a dual major in physics and math, with a minor in chem?

    I am kinda getting ticked off at myself for flip flopping all of the time, but I realized that chemistry labs are a pain and I hate them, and dropping the chem major might be a good idea. There are no labs in math. :tongue2:

    I have already progressed somewhat toward a chem major, but that will just go towards my minor in chem.

    At first I wanted to do a dual major in chem and physics because I wanted to do work in the interface between the two fields, but I have now realized that I want to go into theoretical physics, or maybe experimental physics..

    I am going to talk to my physics advisor tomorrow, and I am going to make an apointment with the math chair to talk about this prospect. I just know that my chem lab experiences were not the greatest and chem experimentation is certainly not my forte. :uhh: I was a nervous wreck in uchem2 lab and orgo lab, but I am very comfortable in physics labs and math labs.

    I dunno, I just want some support from you guys...this is a difficult time I am going through. One thing for certain though, the dual major in physics and math with a minor in chem will be less total credits than a dual major in physics and chem with a minor in math....so as far as total completion time and money goes, physics and math is a better option as well.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2005 #2


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    Which major is better depends on whats important to you. If learning interesting material is important to you, then you should consider taking what's most interesting to you. If not having to much work is important, you might go for something less difficult. If you want a good job or to get into a good grad school, I don't know which is better. My recomendation would be to take what's most interesting to you. This way it will seem like less work and your more likely to do well, which will help getting into grad school and jobs.
  4. Jul 29, 2005 #3
    knowing more chemistry could be useful in general, i suppose, but for theoretical physics i think that math would take precedence.

    plus it's a lot easier to get along with a physics major! :tongue2:
  5. Jul 29, 2005 #4
    oh, man, reread your thread title:

    "... chemistry and physics of physics and math."

    the hell is "physics of physics"? some special program for triple majors? :biggrin:

    anyway, to actually contribute something in this post, math majors tend to be more compatible with physics majors. say, at my school, the physics dept. requires two math courses beyond elementary diff eqs. a few more carefully-selected courses and that's a math major. similarly, at my school (university of florida), some physics courses are allowed as electives for a math major (EM, Classical Mech 1 and 2, etc.).

    chem, on the other hand, there is very little compatibility, which i guess was why you were stuck with eight courses. :surprised
  6. Jul 29, 2005 #5
    yeah, overall math/physics is easier than physics/chem....and if I did math/physics I'd just use the chem classes I've already taken as a minor in chem..I guess..and I am not really going to worry about any of the math electives or physics electives, since physics will likely take care of the math electives and math will likely take care of MOST of the physics electives.
  7. Jul 29, 2005 #6
    I just don't know if I can make a good living as a theoretical physicist....you have to be pretty damn good to get anywhere in that field.....
  8. Jul 30, 2005 #7
    oh, and since I only need 4 more credits to complete a chem minor (since I've already taken 17), what chem class would be most useful for a physicist?

    What is the best combination of classes to take? analytical chem (2 credits), physical chem 1 (3 credits), intermediate inorganic (2 credits), polymer chem (3 credits), etc...

    I am thinking physical chem 1 and intermediate inorganic, but what do you think?
  9. Jul 31, 2005 #8
    Past a certain point it seems like chemistry becomes about memorizing reaction mechanisms (esp. with the organic and biochemistry stuff) and less about explanation on why something happens based upon more fundamental physical laws. I suppose the lab work is useful however.

    So I would recommend physics and math. Maybe you could pick up a minor in chemistry. If you take any chemistry course beyond first year, take physical chem.
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