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How Much Overlap B/n Physics & Math Major?

  1. May 7, 2013 #1
    How much overlap is there usually between a physics and math degree?

    Is it 50%+? And does being good or interested in one usually translate into being good at or interested in the other?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2013 #2
    Math and physics degrees usually require the same lower division math courses such as linear algebra, multivariable and vector calculus, differential equations, etc.

    As for upper division courses, math and physics will be quite different. pure math courses will be more heavily focused on proofs and abstract results that may or may not be of interest to physics majors. physics courses (in my experience) dwell less on the proofs and more on using mathematical tools to make calculations.

    So the overlap I would say is below 50%.

    Being good/interested in one does not imply being good/interested in the other. both require different skill sets and different ways of thinking. though it is not uncommon to be good at/interested in both.
  4. May 7, 2013 #3
    It depends on the professor and how the courses are taught. I had an analysis professor that was a mathematical physicist and loved to throw in physics talk in his lectures. On the other hand, some math professors don't know much physics and will treat the class as a pure math class.
  5. May 7, 2013 #4
    At my school a physics major would have to take, I think, 8 additional math classes in order to double major in both math and physics. Some of these can be taken together, but, ultimately, they would add about one additional year.
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