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Courses How much Statistics Courses will I need as a Double Major in Physics/Math?

  1. Apr 7, 2010 #1
    Right, the question is how much Stats do I need? I am aiming for a double major in Math and Physics

    I know that at some point I will have to take First-year stats (AP Statistics?), but what is beyond that? How many of those permutations/combinatorial courses will I need?

    By the way, I am a freshman already, but I already finished Calculus III (I took it when I was a high school student at a community college).
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2010 #2


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    To pass the degree probably none (maybe knowing how to do a std dev/T-test/chi-squared for a lab class)
    Actually working in physics - it depends.
    Ranges from the "if you need more that 1st year intro stats - you are fooling yourself and should get better data"
    To the "we have zero data but with enough Bayesian stats and Maximum Entropy Deconvolution - we can get a conclusion"
  4. Apr 7, 2010 #3


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    Well in my university by doing the combined math/physics programme I took only one course in probability.

    Next year I'll start Graduate Studies in math (MSC, hopefully to tranfer to direct Phd), and maybe I'll take a course in statistical theory, but I am not obliged to take it, it may help me understand better the stuff I am doing in my labs.

    So to summarise, you may need to take only one course over the span of your bsc degree, but in a whole to do science you will need to read beyond this introductory course.
  5. Apr 7, 2010 #4
    It depends completely on the school. I'm a math/physics major as well, and the way things are going I'll graduate without knowing what a T-test is, and I took the honors section of prob/stat! But we used a graduate level textbook and I don't know that we even spent a single lecture on statistics or that the textbook even mentioned it.
  6. Apr 7, 2010 #5


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    Any math major at my university has to take a Probability and Statistics course. The course is taken during the 2nd semester of the second year.
    For physicists, I'm not really sure. You have to know (and apply) some for the lab experiences/reports but there's no whole course dedicated to it. Maybe there's some statistics inside a course called Mathematical Methods in Physics (a 2nd semester of the 3rd year course, for physics majors) but I'm not 100% since I'll reach this point next semester.
  7. Apr 7, 2010 #6
    In my school, you only need to take one statistics course to earn a degree in mathematics. It's a basic know how to do statistics with a computer. Besides that, different universities have different requirements. You can pick up all the statistics you need along the way in your physics courses.

    Just pick up this https://www.amazon.com/Introduction...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270677324&sr=8-1

    & you'll be fine in physics.
  8. Apr 8, 2010 #7
    But doesn't a double major has to take jsut as many math courses as a math major?
  9. Apr 8, 2010 #8

    Gib Z

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    To OP: I'm planning a similar degree to you, except I have too many units to study statistics, which is generally a prereq for some physics courses. What I found out what that freshman stats covers topics not essential to physics whilst only some are, so I don't have to take the course as long as I learn a few topics over the holidays. It's quite minimal, so really you'd have to take no actual courses for physics or maths. If you know what subjects you plan to take in the future, find out which stats topics are required from other students, and study them on your own.
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