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Is it Normal?

  1. May 18, 2007 #1
    I am a Junior Biology student.To start with, I love physics, and even though I didn't do well/not doing well in my "prehealth" physics courses, I love physics.I think I didn't do well/not doing well because of different reasons (like not attending classes).Anyway RECENTLY, I've been always been chased by the will to major in physics, after I finish my Biology BS degree.Do you think it's Normal for a human being to think about doing that?Is it possible?Is it crazy?Also, do you think I can get to study physics at the Masters Level despite the fact that i hold a BS in Bio degree?Help!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2007 #2
    depends on your background and if a prof wants to take you on.

    Your a junoir ...so that means you have 1 more year right?
    Do you have mathematics or programming skills under your belt?

    Have you ever thought about biophysics? which usually entails cellular/molecular level stuff.
  4. May 18, 2007 #3

    Well I took Calculus in High school and will hopefully take a Calculus 3 class next year.Also.
    I am computer savvy and I've been interested in programming for long.I started learning years ago when I was still in high school.
  5. May 18, 2007 #4
    You know Lou, my undergraduate school had a "physics with biology emphasis" program. Granted it went light on the physics courses, but it might be what you're looking for. If your school has this, you would no doubt meet the requirements already. At my school the bio emphasis majors were allowed to substitute two semesters of physical chemistry for statistical and quantum mechanics, and they didn't have to take many physics courses beyond analytical mechanics and E&M. Maybe you could potentially pick this up as a second major?

    Of course, you could also just take some physics courses your senior year and then apply to a physics MS program (disclaimer: talk to your advisor before you do this!). I've heard of plenty of cases of people using some of their time in graduate school to do this. In fact just the other day, I remember one of my fellow graduate students talking about how he hadn't had all of the core physics classes in college, and how he used his first year to catch up. I don't know how much physics you've actually taken, but you could possibly do this.
  6. May 19, 2007 #5
    You could also see about extending your program for another year and having a double major.

    The biology to physics switch is not really so rare as you might believe. One of my friends made the change, but then went back to biology for her graduate work. Now she studies swimming fish!
  7. May 19, 2007 #6


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    Remember Ed Witten, the history major turned Fields medal winning mathematical physicist.
  8. May 19, 2007 #7
    Yeah, and if Ed Witten can do it anyone can.
  9. May 19, 2007 #8
    Thanks a lot guys, you've been very helpful!Just what bothers me is that some people are discouraging, saying: "Wasting more time for an undergraduate work!Are you nuts?Undergraduate is a waste of time you should do the LOGICAL thing and hope for graduate work...etc"
  10. May 20, 2007 #9
    I don't want to be disrespectful to anyone, but that's like saying "remember that Bill Gates ended up the richest man on earth even though he dropped out". Witten's case is pretty peculiar and shouldn't be used as a model, I believe...
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