Is a Second Year Course Load Too Much to Handle?

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In summary, the conversation discussed a second year course lineup which includes Experimental Physics, Analog Electronics and Circuit Analysis, Electricity and Magnetism, Statistical and Thermal Physics, Differential Equations, and Mathematical Modelling. The individual was concerned about taking the electronics class and its relevance to their future studies. They also discussed the difficulty level of the courses and the potential need to drop a course. Ultimately, it was recommended to take the electronics class if interested in electronics or instrumentation.
  • #1
sphericow
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All second year courses:

Experimental Physics (Lab based with reports)
Analog Electronics and Circuit Analysis (includes labs)
Electricity and Magnetism
Statistical and Thermal Physics
Differential Equations
Mathematical Modelling

Anyone with experience with a similar course line up? I'm mainly worried about the electronics class, it really doesn't interest me but I understand it's helpful for experimental uses later?
 
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  • #2
Little concerned that you're taking stat-mech and E&M at the same time you're taking diff-eq...

You should really be solid on your differential equations before taking those upper-level physics courses. Do you know what level those physics courses are being taught at? At my school, those are all 4000 level courses (6000 being graduate level courses), whereas differential equations is down in the 2000 level for the mathematics courses. You don't want to be taking physics courses where you don't have the mathematical tools in place already.
 
  • #3
Course load looks fine. It will obviously take work. Furthermore, I can't see the Analog course being exceptionally difficult, but again this is dependent on numerous factors...
 
  • #4
They are all the 200 level (100 first year, 200 second year etc). The physics classes require diff-eq to be taken concurrently, in the previous calculus classes diff-eq were introduced and some simple methods/examples were introduced.
EDIT: The statmech course uses this textbook https://www.amazon.com/dp/0137792085/?tag=pfamazon01-20
 
  • #5
Ok, well as long as you've seen some differential equation then you should be ok. But yea, that is going to be a lot of work.

If you have to consider dropping a course, I'd probably drop the circuit class.
 
  • #6
Maybe if I give a more complete picture of my year, currently my papers are as follows:

A Semester
Quantum and Solid State Physics
Relativity, Nuclear and Astrophysics
Multivariable Calc
Linear algebra

B Semester
Statistical and Thermal Physics
Differential Equations
Mathematical Modelling
Experimental Physics
Analog Electronics and Circuit Analysis
Electricity and Magnetism

From talking to lecturers it seems the Stat/Thermal class and the electricity and magnetism are the hardest. I'm thinking I will remove the electronics class from B semester and place a computational mathematics class in the A semester.

The circuits class has description:
"This paper covers design and analysis of analog electronic circuits. Topics include ac circuit analysis, nodal analysis, Lapace Transforms, BJT amplifier circuits and their equivalent circuits, frequency response. Feedback, output stages, oscillators, operational amplifiers and their limitations, active filters, using PSPICE"
Textbook:Neamen Microelectronics, Circuit Analyses and Design 3rd ed (McGraw Hill) 2007

I really did not enjoy my circuits class this year, (I enjoyed the electromagnetism part of my physics class though!) so I'm thinking this Analog Electronics and Circuit Analysis looks like overkill? Would it really be necessary?
 
  • #7
I'm assuming you're going for a Physics degree? It really depends what you're specializing in. For example, if you were interested in electronics, then I would advise taking it. However, if not, then I do not see the need for it.
 
  • #8
Physics major yes, the paper is an electronic engineering paper too. I'm only my second year so I can't really take an educated stab at where my future will take me, but biophysics and medical physics seem very interesting.
 
  • #9
Well, if you can take it in the future, then do so. It may help with instrumentation if you do decide to take that route.
 

What are the potential consequences of taking on too much for one semester?

Taking on too much for one semester can lead to burnout, decreased academic performance, and increased stress levels. It can also lead to a lack of time for self-care and extracurricular activities.

How do I determine if I am taking on too much for one semester?

Consider your workload, course difficulty, and personal commitments. If you feel overwhelmed and unable to balance your responsibilities, it may be a sign that you are taking on too much.

What steps can I take to prevent taking on too much for one semester?

Make a realistic plan for your semester, prioritize your commitments, and communicate with your academic advisor about your workload. It's also important to know your limits and not be afraid to say no to additional commitments.

Is it better to take on a heavy course load or spread out my classes over multiple semesters?

It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and strengths. Some students may thrive with a heavy course load, while others may perform better with a lighter load. Consider your academic goals and prioritize your mental and physical well-being.

What resources are available to help me manage a heavy course load?

Most universities offer resources such as tutoring, study groups, and time management workshops to help students manage their workload. It's also important to reach out to your professors and seek support from friends and family. Don't be afraid to ask for help when needed.

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