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EE need advice about graduate study in Th. Physics or Mathematics.

  1. Sep 15, 2009 #1
    Hi all,

    I will get my B.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering in Jan 2010, I want to do graduate study in either Theoretical Physics or Mathematics.

    My GPA is 3.34 With Honor, I have Most Bs in Mathematics, but low physics grades.

    Am I allowed to do so, If yes what to do to convince good Universities to accept me, and where are the best places to study either subjects.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2009 #2
    This gets asked about once a week here and I always post the same link. Ramamurti Shankar is a theoretical physicist at Yale that did his undergrad in Electrical Engineering. So it definitely can be done. I've frequently seen it said that in some countries "physics" is considered a much weaker field than it is in the US, and the "smart" kids go in the Engineering program because that is where the "real" students go....

    Here's a link: http://oyc.yale.edu/physics/fundamentals-of-physics

    "Ramamurti Shankar is John Randolph Huffman Professor of Physics at Yale. He received his B. Tech in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and his Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Yale faculty in 1977 after three years at the Harvard Society of Fellows. He is dedicated to teaching and has published two texts: Principles of Quantum Mechanics and Basic Training in Mathematics: A Fitness Program for Science Students. His website has further details and a link to jokes collected by his students from Physics 200-201."
  4. Sep 15, 2009 #3


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    I wouldn't count on it though (the post above me), first of all he (the OP) is already behind in terms of courses taken from those who have actually did a physics/math major. Factor in the "but low physics grades", your chances plummet by a good percentage.

    Have you tried doing a pratice PGRE? If you can't answer correctly a significant amount of questions, then you need to take (or retake) those physics courses. Maybe you should stay for about a year more?
  5. Sep 15, 2009 #4
    should I consider taking a one year Diploma in Physics first, could this increase my chance.
  6. Sep 16, 2009 #5
    we have only 3 physics courses:

    1- General Physics (Grade: D+).
    2- Electricity and Magnetism (C+).
    3- Atom, Light and Modern Physics (B+).

    I was just too lazy in the first year.
  7. Sep 16, 2009 #6
    Ouch. Let me go out on a limb and say if that is the total of your physics experience, no good graduate school will touch you.

    You need to take more upper division physics courses and *do well* in them. If these aren't available at your school, I'm not sure what to suggest.
  8. Sep 16, 2009 #7
    I am in Egypt, and don't know how can I take more physics courses before applying to physics degree.
  9. Sep 16, 2009 #8
    I'm not familiar with the Egyptian system, but if you can study another year and get a "Diploma in Physics", that would be the way to go. You have a lot of damage here that you need to repair.
  10. Sep 16, 2009 #9
    :) thanks for your advice.
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