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Is this too much for a semester?

  1. Sep 2, 2012 #1
    Starting my third and final year of university next week, and these are the courses I plan to take:

    Quantum Mechanics II (Perturbation theory, Scattering theory, Variational principle, etc. Basically second half of Griffiths)

    Nuclear and Particle Physics

    Mathematical Methods in Physics


    Abstract Algebra

    Does this seem manageable, given that I want to do well in all courses? Or should I drop a course?

    Any input appreciated. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2012 #2
    I know of at least one person who did just fine with a similarly intense load, in fact more intense.

    However, you need to ask yourself whether or not you're willing to risk your grades, and what's the lowest you can stake and still progress towards your goals. Just my two cents.
  4. Sep 2, 2012 #3


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    Gold Member

    You should be fine. That being said, why are you only taking three years to graduate? A much better plan, in my opinion, is to take a full four years. You can fit more total knowledge in and take it at a better pace. This ensures you can spend adequate time on each class to both learn the material in great detail as well as do well in the class. It also gives you more time to complete a senior research project. There is at least one person in my graduate program that got his undergraduate degree in three years. He was comparatively under-prepared relative to most of us.
  5. Sep 2, 2012 #4
    I may be wrong here but wouldn't the math methods and PDE's classes have a lot of overlap? Last semester I took 3 of the 5 classes you mentioned (QM II, PDE and Abstract Algebra). My fourth one was E&M I. I felt like I could have taken a fifth not-so difficult class since I did have some free time. I initially started out with GR as a fifth class but that made the load a lot heavier so I had to drop that one. So I would say its doable if you work your butt off.
  6. Sep 4, 2012 #5
    Thanks to all for the replies.

    Well I want to get absolutely nothing lower than a B+. Preferably all in the A range.

    I would love to have four years, but unfortunately I can't, as I'm not studying in America and there are only 3 years of university where I'm from.

    Yes there is quite a bit of overlap between PDE and Math Methods, which make it kind of like i'm actually taking four and a half courses :tongue:.

    I've emailed a professor and he recommends me dropping PDE, as he said 5 PHYS/MATH courses is a little heavy, and since there is overlap with Math Methods. But I don't really want to, as PDE is so important in higher level physics that I want a relatively more comprehensive study on it. And besides, the fact that it has overlap actually makes it more encouraging to take it as well, as I can learn and receive the credits of two courses but probably with less work.
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