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Programs Going for a PhD in Physics with a MatE undergrad?

  1. Jul 20, 2010 #1
    I will confess to having been a lurker (many apologies!) on this forum before, but I feel like its finally time to ask a question of my own...

    The bottom line question: Is it reasonable to pursue a PhD in Physics if my BS is in Materials Engineering? If so, what additional courses might be useful?

    The complete story:

    I am entering my junior year of MatE this coming fall, but I also happen to have a fantastic research job in my schools physics department. This most recent year I have decided that I do, in fact, want to pursue my PhD (yay!), however I have yet to decide if Materials Science or Physics is the direction I want to pursue. For the time being, at least, I'd like to keep both options open.

    In my MatE curriculum I will have the opportunity to explore ceramics and electronics quite well. According to the class descriptions, I should obtain strong exposure to optics, thermodynamics, and quantum in the next two years. I also plan on taking a two semester class which will serve as an introduction to Modern Physics. Is this enough prep work for me to get into a Physics program?

    I am aware that classes such as An Intro to Mechanics, or Partial Differential Equations could be useful, but working them into my schedule could be rather difficult at this point without staying an extra semester (something I really can't afford to do). Would it be possible to go back and take these courses as a Physics Grad student if I decide I need them? Or would it be best to take them now even if it will be a hassle?

    Any general advice about MatSci vs. Phys is also very welcome! :D I really do enjoy solid state work, but I also enjoy the directness that MatSci offers to the final product. Any experience and stories would be appriciated

    Thanks much!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2010 #2


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