Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Greetings fellow Physics Forum members

  1. Jul 31, 2012 #1
    This is my first post on any message board so bare with me on any grammatical errors I make in the post. I will be heading into my senior year of high school and I plan on majoring in physics. But I live in a rather rural community and high school courses aren't considered challenging. We have one physics class we can take at my school, but its pretty basic nearly everything I know about physics I had to learn myself. I try to learn the most that I can about any subject but physics is a subject I hope to master one day. Although I have one more year of high school i still look forward to college and see it as a big step forward from my school. Does anyone have advice to give in regards to which classes I should take during my first semester of college?Actually any advice relating to physics would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Physics I, Calculus I, and English I in semester 1 at college. Be sure to take the best math course offered in your senior high school year. Interested in engineering? Engineering requires good Physics skills.
  4. Jul 31, 2012 #3
    With respect to your main program of study, you generally don't have much choice in your first year of college. There are foundational classes that everyone in physics (and, in fact, just about every field I'm familiar with) takes as requirements in first year. So, if you look at the program requirements for physics at the school you go to, they will tell you exactly what you need to take in first year. At the very least, it's probably safe to say that your college will require you to take introductory physics in each semester, a practical (lab) course if that's not already part of your introductory class, a full year of calculus, and perhaps a semester of linear algebra. The linear algebra class might be optional in first year, but I would recommend taking it as soon as possible. Beyond that, you likely won't have much freedom to choose particular physics courses until you've completed those basics. The choice will come in which level you take those courses at. If you are interested in pursuing physics in graduate school school, you should take it at the highest level your school offers. If you think you might want to do theoretical physics, it wouldn't hurt to take calculus at the highest level too; however, there may be a "calculus for physical sciences" stream (between "calculus for mathematicians" and "calculus for life sciences" stream) that would be fine too. Again, your course requirements from your physics department will tell you which one you should take.
  5. Jul 31, 2012 #4
    I appreciate your insight, engineering is definitely an interesting career field. Im taking college courses (english 101, college algebra) and I plan on taking more classes next semester. Im taking pre cal this year as well, I know most of the concepts of pre cal well so I will definitely delve into more advanced calc topics soon. I have taken every science class my school offers and aced them all with relative ease, but I realize that i'll run into a college class that will stump me. But I dont give up when trying to learn new topics. I plan on attending a large state university that has a good engineering and physics department.I would like to thank everyone that posts advice on this thread I tend to find value in any advice.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook