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!

Grad. School in Physics w/ BA in Romance language

  1. Aug 28, 2014 #1
    How would one apply to a physics graduate program when they have a BA in Romance Languages from NYU?

    Are prerequisites specific to each school?

    I assume a GRE is required for all schools.

    Does one need an undergraduate degree in Physics?

    Any advice along these lines is greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    An undergraduate degree in physics is a prerequisite for most undergraduate programs. Some people are accepted with degrees that are close such as engineering physics or physical chemistry or hybrid degrees.

    Given that a BA in romance languages has little if any overlap with a standard undergraduate physics curriculum, the only way to get into physics graduate school is to return to undergraduate study for a few years and earn a second degree.

    The GRE is not required for all schools, but it is for most in the USA. And for what it's worth, it's not a substitute for an undergraduate degree. It's more of a means of partially compensating for the different levels of rigor and difficulty at the many different schools out there.
  4. Aug 29, 2014 #3
    Nominally they say you will need a STEM undergraduate degree...but I suppose for an outstanding applicant they might consider other degrees. I have heard anecdotes of people who got into PhD programs without even having done an undergrad. These would be extreme snowflake superstar cases, though.

    Now, as to whether you are an outstanding applicant. Most likely your undergrad did not require you to do any physics at all, and if you did do it, it was for an elective.

    I don't know your background...have you ever taken any physics courses?
  5. Aug 30, 2014 #4
    Yeah, that won't work at all. They won't accept you and you'd be a world of hurt if they did. (unless you have maybe done some major level of independent study on the side and have a particular major genius for physics in some out of the ordinary way) Almost certainly you'll need to go back to undergrad for a few years (probably 2 or 3, unless there is a lot you've left out of your story and you've already taken a considerable number, but perhaps just shy of a dual major or something).
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads for Grad School Physics
Testing Moving Physics GRE date