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From Civil Engineering undergrad to Physics grad

  1. Jun 24, 2015 #1
    Hello,i am an undergraduate Civil Engineering student.When i finish my undergrad studies i want to pursue a masters degree in Physics(my ultimate goal is to get a PhD in Physics).Due to limitations in money i couldn't drop out of civil engineering and pursue an undergrad degree in Physics,so i am stuck with Civil Engineering.
    My biggest concern is that i might not be able to be good enough at Masters level studies because i won't have the knowledge on basic physics that a physics major degree graduate will have,so i decided on doing a minor degree.The courses that i have decided to follow in the minor degree are
    1)Classical Mechanics
    2)Quantum Mechanics 1 and 2
    3)Electromagnetism 1 and 2
    4)Mathematical Methods in physics 1 and 2
    5)Statistical Physics(includes Thermodynamics)
    6)Waves and Oscillations.

    As a Civil engineer i have taken courses on
    1)fluid mechanics(many courses)
    2)linear algebra
    3)Differential equations
    4)basic calculus
    5)statistics and probabilities(math)
    6)basic physics and basic calculus
    7)Various courses on programming(also programming on oscillating systems)
    8)Solving problems using Numerical Methods

    What i want to ask you is this: do these courses cover the basic knowledge that one needs in order to successfully pursue a Master's degree in physics?I am afraid maybe these are not enough as the Physics department also offers more advanced courses on an undergrad level like:
    1)Theoretical Physics(Basics on string theory,relativistic QM,etc)
    2)Cosmology and General Theory of Relativity
    3)Condensed Matter Physics
    4)Theoretical particle Physics(QM electrodynamics,chromodynamics,etc)
    5)Nuclear Physics
    6)Electronic Systems/Physics(two different courses)
    7)Atomic and Molecular Physics
    8)Computational Physics

    These advanced courses are all 4th year courses,so its like they use them in order to give the student the freedom to pursue his own goals in physics(choose where he goes from there) but i can only get one to three courses from these courses.
    Problem is that i am doing the minor degree in an extra year so i only got one year to get every course that i want,so i might find some of these advanced courses a bit difficult due to the fact that i will be taking their prerequisite courses in the same term!Its i bit crazy,i know.

    So,to sum it all up,keeping in mind the courses that i already decided to take,which of the more advanced courses of you think that are essential for graduate studies?
    Also,will these even be enough or will i have additional problems while doing my Master's degree because i won't have taken every course that a physics major has?Also,keep in mind that i almost certainly become a theoretical physics rather than an experimental physicist.

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2015 #2
    The courses you are taking for a minor are more than the courses I'm taking for a major in physics... I'd say you'll be fine.
  4. Jun 24, 2015 #3
    What about the more advanced ones?(the lowest list)
    Wouldn't i need them?
  5. Jun 24, 2015 #4
    I'm sure they wouldn't hurt, but every physics program I've seen has the requirement of a physics or related (e.g. Engineering) degree along with a year of classical mechanics, Electromagnetics, and quantum mechanics.
  6. Jun 24, 2015 #5
    I'd say no. I'm taking computational courses at my school because my major is computational physics as opposed to general physics, but generally speaking, they have useful information but are not at all required to apply for a master's.
  7. Jun 25, 2015 #6
    They might not be REQUIRED but my problem is,if i don't know those information contained in those courses,will i have a problem understanding something in my Master's degree?
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