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Graduate physics after CS and math

  1. Dec 30, 2015 #1
    Hey guys,
    I was wondering if someone here could help me answer some questions, and if not at least give me some advice.
    I'm double majoring in CS and Math. I want to pursue graduate degree in the future after I finish my bachelor. The thing is, I have so much love for math and theoretical physics, and I really want to have that graduate degree in theoretical physics, but I don't know if I can since I only took the courses Physics I and Physics II and I don't think I'll be able to pass the GRE for physics with this insufficient knowledge. I'm still in college and I don't know the procedures and requirements for graduate degrees. I'm wondering, are there any graduate programs that would offer undergraduate courses before I take any graduate classes? or do I have to pursue another bachelor in order to get into grad school for that matter?
    Also, I self-learned a lot of stuff in math and programming, would you say that it would be possible for me to self-learn physics to pass the GRE?
    Finally, if I decided to take grad school in mathematics, would it be possible to find a job where I could work on physics theories such as String Theory or GR etc?

    thanks a lot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2015 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    You should start by looking at Can I get a Ph.D. in physics if my bachelor's degree isn't in physics, at the very top of this page.

    The short answer is that it's rare to be admitted to a grad school without the appropriate background, rarer still to be given the time to catch up on more than a course or two, and even rarer still for the school to pay for this extra time. If you want a grad program in physics, you should complete an undergrad program in physics.
  4. Dec 30, 2015 #3
    Check with your institution and see what additional courses you need for a physics degree. Take some of those as electives and/or see if they are offered in a summer [short] semester. You'll build up your physics credentials and most importantly find out if you REALLY like the more advanced/intense physics.
  5. Dec 30, 2015 #4
    Thanks guys, I'll see if I can take more physics classes.
    Although I'm wondering about something, I've often heard of mathematicians who work on Quantum Physics and some also work on String theory, is it possible if I became a mathematician to get involved in these fields? I know that these people probably don't have deep knowledge of the subject, but they probably do contribute to it.
  6. Dec 30, 2015 #5
    I've read, but have no personal knowledge if it is true, that European physicists generally take more math and perhaps less specific physics than do their American counterparts. If no one confirms or debunks that here, perhaps you can check out a curriculum or two in another country.

    Try checking out Roger Penrose THE ROAD TO REALITY if interested. The math and physics there is expansive and impressive...I could the math details only for about the first 100 pages or so and stuck with concepts and explanations later. In the last ten or fifteen pages Penrose discusses the deep connections between the physical world and mathematics which might inspire you one way or another.
  7. Dec 30, 2015 #6
    You can apply to schools under applied math or maybe mathematical physics and join a research group that is working on something that interests you (e.g. some topic in physics).

    It will be harder getting into a physics program since you haven't taken the core that most grad programs expect.
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