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I may have to get 2Ws in non-core classes.

  1. Sep 13, 2012 #1
    I may have to get 2Ws in "non-core" classes.

    I go to a very very small university (small department to the point where some core classes are not offered every year) with a few handful of professors. I am taking a heavy load this term with a full time job. Financially speaking, it is pretty much impossible for me to take an extra (5th) year. I've had a long discussion with the Financial service center, they helped me a lot, but there was nothing we could do.

    Last year I spent my year in Mathematics and did not complete the regular sophomore (2nd year) physics requirement due to my job (was working full time and took the minimum full time course requirement) and I am doing it this year because I planned to focus my last years on Physics to make up, but a few things happened in the summer and I am now back to where I was last year except that I have "fewer" Mathematics requirements (if not none) now.

    So I did some Googling and found that some university's math departments actually have something called "Mathematical Physics" and I don't think having a "physics degree" is a requirement, which may give me some light. The only concern I have is how much "physics" is in those programs and how much time will I spend working with a physicist rather than a mathematician.

    I have also read Zapper's guide and apparently it is even possible to go to physics grad school without a physics degree. I know the demands and requirements in that thread, but I don't want to rule it out just yet (I am a regular lottery ticket buyer...)


    Conclusion: I have one physics lab and one "core" physics class. The dropout date is coming soon and I simply do not have time to handle a lab (We have two 3 hour long labs every week) and taking solely the physics class seems rather pointless at this point if I can go into a Mathematical Physics program though Math Grad school (I think they want to see more math?). Will getting 2 Ws in two "non-core" classes hurt my chances in applying for grad school? I also want to add I had one more W in a core math class in the summer due to a few uncontrolled things that happened, totaling up to 3. I am taking that class again, but I know I will definitely ace because I have a 93% average in my Math (95% if it weren't for my first year haha) to vouch.


    So if there are any Mathematicans whose research is mathematical physics, could you give me some insight? And anyone else could give me some suggestions on what is probably the best course of action? I have till the 18th for dropout without the W. If there is anything unclear here I can clarify.

    Thank you for reading
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2012 #2

    bcrowell

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    Re: I may have to get 2Ws in "non-core" classes.

    Your expectations are totally unrealistic. The W's are your wake-up call telling you this.
     
  4. Sep 14, 2012 #3
    Re: I may have to get 2Ws in "non-core" classes.

    sounds like a tough situation. given the specific goals you have in mind, i can't offer much beyond sympathy.

    however, if you're willing to be flexible, you might try what i did: leave school after your bachelor's degree, go work for a while, and save money until you have a decent amount of passive income. putting away enough to live off of completely takes decades. but having some gives you a great deal of added flexibility in both your academic and professional decisions, not to mention some peace of mind. money doesn't equal happiness, but lack of money sure as hell equals sadness.

    now, i'm only part way through this plan, so i don't know for sure that it will work. still haven't done the part where i go back to school. it's possible that the years away from academia have made me dumb, or left me hopelessly far behind. but at least in theory, it seems workable, and may be worth considering if your current plan isn't.
     
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