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Courses How stressful will 18 credit hours in Physics be at Uni?

  1. Jun 23, 2017 #1
    The classes include: Electricity and Magnetism 2, Intro Modern Physics, Intro Theoretical Physics, Optics Lab, Intro to Solid State Physics.

    I will have a good amount of experience in E&M as well as Theoretical Physics. This will be for my second semester of 3rd year going for a B.S. in physics at a state university.
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  3. Jun 23, 2017 #2


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    The set of courses listed are an overload on Physics. Look at how course prerequisites are lined. The best advice should come from an adviser in your Physics department who would help you plan your semester by semester selection of courses. According to what you just listed, too many courses in just one semester. Some things you delayed and some things you might be taking prematurely. Those are my impressions.
  4. Jun 23, 2017 #3
    Unfortunately, I ve already met with a physics advisor and this is currently the only way I can get the degree in the right amount of time...
  5. Jun 24, 2017 #4


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    What's the largest number of physics and math courses that you've taken in one term before, and how did you feel about it?
  6. Jun 24, 2017 #5
    Plan ahead and make an appointment with the men in white coats to come carry you away!

    Seriously, this is far too much for one semester. Such a load would drive anyone insane.
  7. Jun 24, 2017 #6
    I just spent my first two years at a community college, so it likely does not compare much. Anyway, I took Multibariable calculus and linear algebra together, and I got As confidently in both. I've only taken one physics course at a time, and I took my last one with Differential equations (this included a lab). I felt great about the diffeqs, and only a little worried about the physics at times
  8. Jun 24, 2017 #7


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    That's only five courses, which was a pretty standard course load for me. I'm assuming some of the courses are weighted with more than 3 credit hours. 18 credit hours is a lot to take on in one semester, but not completely unreasonable. I would point out that a lot of people find that they do better when they have at least one non physics/mathematics course for a little balance each semester, but not everyone. Some people thrive when they focus.

    You might want to consider the impact this will have on other things that you do too. A heavy course load will cut into available time for a part-time job and the time that you need to take care of yourself (everything from exercise to grocery shopping, cleaning and laundry).

    I wouldn't let this load intimidate you. I say go for it, but be wise about it. Develop a backup plan if you get a couple weeks into the semester and realize that the course load is either keeping you from learning at an optimal level or that you're not taking good care of yourself.
  9. Jun 24, 2017 #8
    Thank you for the advice. The main issue is that if I do in fact decide to cutback on even one of these courses, I will be setback up to an entire year and a half before I may get the degree. This is mainly due to the university's lack of organization and offerings in the physics dept.
  10. Jun 24, 2017 #9


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    Just to throw it out there, you could consider attending a different school that better meets your needs. I know that's not always an easy option, but it might be worth at least looking into.
  11. Jun 24, 2017 #10
    Thanks for the suggestion. However, I am in a bit of a dilemma as this is the closest university with a B.S. Physics program accepting CCP (formerly PSEO) students. But, I have already received my A.S. (but not my HS diploma) so I am in a bit of a crossroads...
  12. Jun 27, 2017 #11
    Stressful enough that you don't want to to do it, I'd drop at least one; either the optics lab or the solid state physics.
  13. Jun 29, 2017 #12
    I took math physics, solid state, electrodynamics, adv. physics lab, and an engineering graphics class past semester.

    I wanted to die. I don't know how you're taking a solid state course without even finishing EM and modern. A good understanding of modern and EM would help a lot.
  14. Jun 29, 2017 #13
    How deep do those courses go into the topics? I mean, EM 2, as I had it, included all topics of electrodynamics, like relativity, the covariant form of Maxwell equations, Green functions, etc. Solid state physics, the course I took, we saw things from Aschroft and Mermin, tight binding, nearly free electron model, semiconductors, and many more. You need to know statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics for many of those topics. With only those too you would have material for an entire semester. Anyway, I think that my university overloads students and the courses are given much at a ph.d level, and the courses are aimed for physicist (and by physicists). Engineers (in the same university) treat all these topics much more softly. I've been teacher assistant in a course of electricity and magnetism (electrostatics and magnetostatics) for engineers and definitely wasn't the same level the course I took for physicists.
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