From math bachelor to Physics master

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Nika
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Hello, I am a freshman majoring in math and recently I got interested in physics, but the problem is that I didn't learn physics in high school, so basically I don't know anything about physics. Despite this is it possible for me to learn physics on my own and then get accepted to physics graduate school? and how hard will it be?
 

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Vanadium 50
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. Despite this is it possible for me to learn physics on my own and then get accepted to physics graduate school

Not really. If you want to go to physics graduate school, you should get a physics bachelors.
 
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CrysPhys
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Hello, I am a freshman majoring in math and recently I got interested in physics, but the problem is that I didn't learn physics in high school, so basically I don't know anything about physics. Despite this is it possible for me to learn physics on my own and then get accepted to physics graduate school? and how hard will it be?
Does your school offer an Intro to Physics that does not have high-school physics as a pre-req? That would be the place to start.
 
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symbolipoint
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Physics or not in high school is not important for starting or earning Bachelor degree in Physics (in a university).
 
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StatGuy2000
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Not learning physics in high school shouldn't be a barrier in pursuing physics studies. Most colleges/universities offer an intro physics course where high school physics is not a requirement -- you should be able to take that course, and then proceed alongside your math major.
 
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vela
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Despite this is it possible for me to learn physics on my own and then get accepted to physics graduate school? and how hard will it be?
You really need to get a BS in physics if you want to go on to grad school in physics. It's very unlikely that you can learn physics on your own to the level needed for graduate school. Is there some reason you want to learn physics on your own instead of just majoring in physics?
 
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mpresic3
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Hello, I am a freshman majoring in math and recently I got interested in physics, but the problem is that I didn't learn physics in high school, so basically I don't know anything about physics. Despite this is it possible for me to learn physics on my own and then get accepted to physics graduate school? and how hard will it be?

Currently, you are a freshman, I take it you completed your first year recently or about to complete it. First year physics at a university often does not have high school physics as a pre-requisite, although previous exposure to HS physics is an advantage. In my experience, the hardest thing about first year university physics is the mathematics. Because you are majoring in math, this should not be a problem. If you are interested in physics enough to consider a future masters degree, you should take physics in college (probably a first year course) as soon as possible. This would allow you to see if your recent interest will sustain you up to and throughout a Masters program.
It is very likely the Math department at your University or college, would support you taking a physics elective. Almost all programs require courses outside of the Math department to fulfill distribution requirements.

You ask is it possible to get into a physics graduate program with a Math degree. I am less pessimistic than most. Some physics grad schools will accept students outside a physics program, but these students need to present exceptional grades; letters of recommendation, GRE scores etc. What I am writing is getting into a physics graduate program is highly competitive even for physics undergraduate majors. It is even more competitive for students coming from outside the program.

One other problem to consider is the GRE. The Advanced Math and Physics GRE's test very different skills and preparation. I know my physics GRE was well better than average. I occasionally try to do the Advanced Math GRE and I find myself very uncomfortable, although I never took it for scoring.

Can a student major in Math and get into physics grad school for a masters, while learning physics on his/her own? This is (remotely) possible, but for god's sake why would a freshman even consider this possibility in lieu of getting into the physics program in the first place? Many schools (I suspect yours) do not ask you to declare a major in the first year.

Also if you are concerned about not having the preparation a (one perhaps year long) high-school class would have given you, are you going to be more confident taking the physics GRE, getting letters of recommendation from outside the physics department for physics grad school etc, without many undergraduate classes in physics?
 
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