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Got a BSc in EE, eligible for an MSc in Math, interested in theoretical physics

  1. Jul 17, 2009 #1
    Well, to get straight to the point, I've got a BSc in electrical engineering and have developed an interest in theoretical physics. Since string theory and theoretical physics in general is heavy on math I was wondering if a possible way into the field of theoretical physics might be an MSc in Engineering Mathematics and Computational Science? This is a masters programme that I'm eligible for as an EE unlike for MSc programmes in theoretical physics (my BSc in EE doesn't quite cut it there :uhh:), so in that sense it would save me a whole lot of time, money and hassle as opposed to starting from scratch with a BSc in Physics (well, starting from scratch is an oxymoron in this case since I'm already a few years older and short on funds from my previous studies :tongue2:)...

    Engineering Mathematics and Computational Science programme plan: http://www.chalmers.se/en/sections/education/masterprogrammes/programme-descriptions/engineering-mathematics/programme-plan [Broken]

    I know this would leave me short on the physics part, but I was thinking if you master the mathematical tools needed for calculating and computing advanced math/physics problems in general, and if you have the will and interest to pursue some serious self-education in physics, wouldn't it then somehow be possible to switch fields through let's say a PhD in math problems related to string theory or other similar theoretical physics fields (or maybe even earlier through the masters thesis)? If so, how would I proceed in terms of course selection and masters thesis (from above link) or is there some sort of administrative barrier barring you generally from entering any sort of "foreign territory" in scientific research even when like in physics and math the fields are heavily intertwined? Any guidance or advices regarding this would be greatly appreciated...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2009 #2
    If this program has a lot of pure math classes which overlap with some of your interests in mathematical physics, it might make the task of getting into physics simpler. If you want to get into theory, physicists will want you to take at least the undergraduate courses in physics first (classical mechanics, statistical mechanics, classical electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, mathematical methods to cite the most standard ones). There is no way you can do theoretical or mathematical physics without studying these courses. If you can do these courses comfortably as part of this program, you could go for it. Also, pure math exposure will help (so long as it is continuum mathematics -- analysis, group theory, topology, partial differential equations, differential geometry, etc.)

    So more than the namesake, what courses you can and cannot do will matter. The computational science part will help, but only when you work on projects or later on in your life.

    But if its pure physics that you're deeply interested in, and assuming you have no issues working harder than usual (possibly) to make up for the lack of UG education in physics and establish some sort of professional/academic credibility, why don't you just consider a Masters in Physics instead of taking a zig-zag route like this? What do you mean you're not eligible? Can you be admitted and be allowed to take UG courses?

    PS -- I noticed that you posted on another thread, but I decided to post my response here.
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