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Studying Entry into studying physics at 32

  1. Sep 25, 2012 #1
    Hi all,

    I'm 32 years old and am well established in my 'career' but have always been fascinated with physics, especially theoretical physics.

    I'm looking for a way to continue working full time in my 'job' while I make strides into studying physics (at least initially).

    I've moved from the UK to the USA, and spent 6 years in the UK military working in telecommunications intelligence, which exposed me heavily to many radio, electromagnetic, wave and a fair degree of space theory and practice. It also highlighted that i'm good at math (even though I thought i was bad at it in school) and I had no trouble grasping many of the concepts that were presented to me.

    Ideally I'd like to start with what I'll need to qualify for an undergrad program (I've already transferred my scholastic achievements for 18 credits, and I think my military work/teachings will also give me some credits). Also, online or weekend/evening programs would work best for me. In the UK, there is the open university program and was wondering if something similar exists in the USA?

    Just to be clear, I'm pursuing this because of my love of the subject, not for any career aspirations, money, job or any of that. I regularly listen to and watch/attend lectures, read papers etc. and just want to increase my understanding of the subject as much as possible. If it does lead me into a new career where I can do that all the time, that would be awesome, but just learning about it fulfills me.

    Any help/direction would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2012 #2
    Hi JonStone,

    Have you looked into taking local night classes, or a class or two from the Open University? I *think* the latter gives you credits but it might not be the cheapest option available to you.

    Good luck!
  4. Sep 26, 2012 #3
    I've looked into OU, but they only have a spattering of the courses available in the USA that are needed - they are missing most of the math based courses.

    I was looking for a similar institution in the USA, as I'm a permanent resident here about to get citizenship.
  5. Oct 1, 2012 #4
    Just curious, how respected are OU courses? I was thinking about taking some OU courses to shore up my physics knowledge and boost my credentials since my BS Physics degree was from 20 years ago and my GPA was terrible.
  6. Oct 1, 2012 #5
    IMO you should just watch the MIT open courseware videos for physics, and get a phyics textbook (maybe the same one they use) and read along and do a bunch of problems at the end of each chapter.

    If you get through Physics I then you should look into taking actual classes if you still want to.
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