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Courses How big of a deal is not taking a course on PDE's as an undergrad?

  1. Apr 22, 2010 #1
    I want to go to grad school for theoretical physics and I've heard that it's very important to know partial differential equations for theoretical physics. But unfortunately my school doesn't have a course on PDE's. How big of a deal is this? Will I be able to pick it up easily in grad school?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2010 #2


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    I assume your school has it included into physics or math courses. They should/must prepare you for grad school and it's almost sure PDE's are included into your degree.
  4. Apr 23, 2010 #3
    I am in the same boat as you. At my school, my upper level physics courses, plus a math methods course I took, all covered PDE's pretty extensively. Therefore, while taking a course on PDE's would certainly be beneficial, I do not think it is a requirement to be successful in graduate school. I am not sure how far along you are in your degree, but my guess is you will cover the necessary material at some point. If you want to learn more about the subject, you can always get a book and self-study the material on your own.

    Lastly, I doubt the lack of a PDE course on your transcript will keep you from getting into graduate school. I don't have the course and I got accepted to plenty of great schools. Good luck!
  5. Apr 25, 2010 #4
    I'm in the same situation too. I'm just a freshman now (Double majoring in Physics & Math), but I'm planning my upcoming courses now. The math major is pretty small here, and there is no partial differential equations course.

    However, I found a way around it. I am contracting my differential equations course next year to Honors, which means that I'll be doing a lot with partial differential equations toward the end of the semester, and I'll be making a couple higher level courses honors as well. Maybe you could speak to a professor or your adviser and see if they have any ideas. Are there any other colleges nearby you could take it at?
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