1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

General undergrad physics questions.

  1. Nov 8, 2009 #1
    So let me give you a little background on myself first. I'm 19, I live in Alberta, Canada, and I'm currently in my first year of college taking "Environmental Sciences". I chose that program basically because I met the requirements and it was the easiest route for me to take without upgrading. I'm your classic underachiever. I didn't try in high school and now I'm kicking myself for it.

    I've had a love for physics and space sciences for most of my life. I knew I was in the wrong program when I was supposed to be studying for a Zoology test, but instead found myself in the library reading "The Feynman Lectures on Physics". I did quite well in physics in high school and I've always been quite good at math. So, I want to try to get into my local universities Physics program for next fall (University of Lethbridge).

    Over the past hour or so I've been browsing some of the pinned articles and threads and here's the main points I've noticed through most of them. I just want to know if there's anything else I should know, so if you have any advice for me please do post it.

    1. Take as much Calculus as humanly possible beforehand. My college has 4 Calculus courses. Pre-Calculus, Techniques of Calculus, Calculus I, and Calculus II. Techniques of Calculus transfers to the University, so I think that would probably be the best choice, but should I take more than 1 of them?

    2. Don't go to a big fancy university for undergrad programs. Apparently they aren't as personalized and the classes are too big from what I've read. I was looking at going to McGill or U of T but is that really even worth moving across the country for?

    3. First year physics usually has "weed out" courses, so I shouldn't fret if I don't walk out with all A's. I really hope this isn't the case, but I guess it's good to know.

    That's all I can really think of for right now, so if there's any pointers you have for me post away!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I know a couple graduates from the U of L program and based on what they've related from their experiences it seems like that school has a great program - at least for undergrad. I wouldn't bother moving to go to another school for undergrad, unless you specifically want to go to a different city. (Although I couldn't imagine why. Lethbridge is an awesome town.)
  4. Nov 8, 2009 #3
    Yes, other than the wind I enjoy Lethbridge. But I'm used to wind, since I'm from a small town just south of Lethbridge (Taber. Corn capital of Canada baby! *eye roll*) Tickets to WHL games as a student are only 11 bucks!

    What did they say about the first year? Do they have those "weed out" courses?
  5. Nov 8, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I don't recall going into details about first year. The two specific people I know were very well prepared for graduate school (granted this is a sample population of N=2 and arguably preparation is at least to some degree student specific), but they both spoke highly of the program.

    In general, I think "weeding out" is a rather subjective term. First year physics, in Canada anyway, is pretty uniform in the topics covered, the types of problems handed out, and the difficulty of labs and tests.
  6. Nov 8, 2009 #5
    Ah, I see. Well that's good to know.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook