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I am thinking of switching from a Physics BS to a Math BS

  1. Mar 16, 2015 #1
    Hey guys! I am a new member who would love some feedback on a big decision I am making soon. I am a senior in college who is pursuing two degrees (one in History and one in Physics). I am in my second semester of my Physics degree and I am just not doing well (Fs on exams). I really enjoy the subject, but being able to set up the problems just isn't clicking for me (I am currently in E&M and it is not making any sense to me whatsoever). Now having said all of that, I am loving my Math courses. I am currently in Multivariate Calculus and I am doing well in that course. My concern is that my GPA will keep tanking if I stay with Physics, but since I seem to enjoy math more and am doing well I would like to switch to a degree in Mathematical Statistics. There are many different factors that require me to have a GPA above a 3.0 and if I stay with physics, I just won't be able to maintain it. Any advice on how difficult a math stats degree is compared to a physics degree? I feel like the extra step of having to recognize how to set up physics problems to do the math is what is killing me. Thanks for helping me out! :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    How is that possible? Were you planning on staying in college for six years (or more) total?
  4. Mar 16, 2015 #3
    I had a ton of credit going into school. I am only in my 3rd year right now and the math degree would only add another 2 and a half years. I have scholarships for the first 4 years, so I am able to stretch it out a little bit.
  5. Mar 18, 2015 #4
    Guys, I would really love some input on this. Are there any thoughts on a Math degree with a concentration in Mathematical Statistics?
  6. Mar 20, 2015 #5


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    Gold Member

    I switched from a physics BS to a math BS this semester and I am much happier. I have troubles similar to yours when it comes to physics courses. Don't know much about mathematical statistics. Why that? You just mentioned that out of the blue. Are you interested in statistics and/or taken any statistics courses before?
  7. Mar 20, 2015 #6
    I think this depends on each person. A math degree typically requires, multivariate, linear algebra, abstract algebra (1 and possibly 2), real analysis (1 and possibly 2), + taking a bunch of electives. I stated the bare minimum requirement. At my school Calc 1+Calc 2 do not count towards the major requirement.

    upper level core classes tend to be proof based and whether or not electives are depends on what you choose.

    Edit: I just realized you asked about a maths stats degree? I'm not sure I know what that is because my school does not have that.
  8. Mar 20, 2015 #7
    I'd make that decision after you first proof class which is usually linear algebra(or poof based class). If you really like proofs and that clicks for you then consider it. The calc series is very different type of class compared to the rest of the math courses you'll need to take.
  9. Mar 21, 2015 #8
    Well the university I attend offers it as a concentration and it does seem very interesting. Also being able to use statistical analysis will help me immensely in any professional setting.
  10. Mar 21, 2015 #9
    I appreciate your advice. The degree plan that I am looking at only has one or two really proof heavy classes, so I am not too worried about it. I spoke to my Calculus 3 professor since he was a statistician and he thinks that if I am doing well in Calc 3, the rest of the degree should follow fairly naturally.
  11. Mar 21, 2015 #10
    The thing about the Math Stats is that it requires less abstract math courses (Abstract Algebra, Real Analysis 2, etc). The three hardest classes that I am looking at are Discreet Dynamical Systems (Chaos theory), Advanced Calculus (very proof heavy and this is real analysis if I am not mistaken), and Vector Spaces (basically the 4000 level Linear Algebra course). I already have most of the lower level requirements for the degree, I just need to work on the upper level stuff after Linear Algebra 1.
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