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Highschool Guidance

  1. Nov 26, 2014 #1
    I am a sophomore in highschool, and hope to become an experimental particle physicist when I am older.
    I am currently in algebra II, will take college algebra next semester, and by the end of summer hopefully get done with trigonometry.
    Am I on a good pace?
    What mathematics classes should I take next?
    What are some good undergraduate schools for a physics degree?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2014 #2
    In the best case scenario, you'd take AP Calculus and get a 5 on the exam by the time you graduate High School. However, don't worry if that doesn't happen. Your pace is fine. It's much more important to read and understand the material at your own pace than to rush through just to say you've finished it.

    After trigonometry, I would take pre-calculus in junior year and possibly AP Calculus in senior year. Try to get in AP Physics, too. If you score well on these exams (5) that knocks out a whole year of college weed-out courses before you even set foot on campus.

    Just about every physics program can be considered to be "good". In my opinion, it's what YOU do in your college education that matters most, not where you did it. I got a degree from a school that didn't even have a physics department and I ended up doing a graduate degree in plasma physics. But don't intentionally make it hard on yourself ;). Just pick a good in-state school where you could ideally live at home and commute, then you don't have to worry about loans or a job taking up your time, and you can use that time to study Physics! Because in the end, it's about what you learned and what you produced, not where you did it or how much money you had at the time.
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