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I need help figuring out what to do at University

  1. Mar 10, 2015 #1
    I am heading off to University in September, and I need help figuring something out. I want to enroll in a Physics course, except the only High School courses I have taken have been Pre-Calculus, Biology, and Chemistry. I have also started Calculus in my spare time. Is there any online courses or something that I can take over the summer to help get my Physics knowledge up to date for University?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2015 #2
    Did you test out of your math requirements for the school? First year physics shouldn't have too much calculus. Just intermediate algebra. I would however take a calculus class first semester to get a head start for year 2.

    You can use https://www.khanacademy.org/
  4. Mar 10, 2015 #3


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    Most engineering majors take physics with their first Calculus course. You should be fine to take calculus based physics upon arrival. The course will rely or build upon your other class work as you progress ie you won't get problems you are not ready to solve.

    As for prep work over the summer, look for an easy physics book to read with simple to moderate difficulty (or consider buying the text used at the university, but will probably be calculus based and problem heavy). And just read the first 3-5 chapters and tackle some of the easier problems. I kind of hesitate to recommend the buying and reading the college class textbook though as you may then become bored with the material when you are actually in the class. Not the best way to start off and learning good study techniques.

    I really suggest to buy Paul Hewett's book "Conceptual Physics" as it is an easy read for the level of Physics you seem to be at. Presents lots of physics without being to detailed and won't burden you with heavy mathematics. It is more for the non-technical major, but could encourage the entry level freshman with a nice introduction to physics.
  5. Mar 10, 2015 #4
    Thanks for the suggestions! I'll talk to the University about Calculus first year, and I'll read the book CalcNerd suggested. Thanks for the insight!
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