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I could definitely use some good advice right about now. I'm an undergrad in my second year of college, currently declared as a Merged Physics/Mathematics major with a minor in Astronomy. After taking math courses through diff eq, linear algebra, and foundations of mathematics (proof-writing, set theory, etc) I've come to realize that I really, really, really like math a lot. I also really love physics... and although I haven't had too much of a background in astronomy yet, I've had this desire to be an astrophysicist for quite a while (though some other areas of physics also sound quite appealing... I'm not too sure just yet.)

The quandary? I want to major in all three: Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy. Not just for the titles, or anything like that, but simply because I'm in love with all three subjects and want to get as much of each in as possible as an undergraduate before I head off to grad school. Also, as a physics major, obtaining the astronomy major means I only have to take five astronomy courses (one of which I've already completed.) So, dual majoring in physics and astronomy isn't quite as taxing as two completely separate majors, and as such, is an often-pursued goal among many of the physics majors in our department. Now the math, however... That'll take longer.

Completing all three majors means that instead of graduating in May 2010, like I normally would, I'll probably take one more semester and graduate in December of 2010. One of my questions is, how will that look to potential graduate schools? Do they place a lot of emphasis on graduating on time? I've obtained all A's and B's in my courses so far, and definitely plan to in future courses.

My second question is, given the next five semesters...

Fall'08 (16 credits): Observational astronomy and lab, intro to analysis, complex variables, mechanics I, mathematical methods of physics

Spring'09 (15 credits): Electricity and magnetism I, advanced lab, discrete math, mechanics II, intro to topology, nuclear physics

Fall'09 (15 credits): Intro to math statistics, quantum mechanics, partial differential equations, intro to abstract algebra, some Honors liberal studies course

Spring'10 (15 credits): Astrophysics: galaxies, history and philosophy of math, thermal and statistical physics, electricity and magnetism II, some Honors liberal studies course

Fall'10 (wrapping it all up, 15): Astrophysics: stars, physics senior seminar, intro to computer science, discrete math, some Honors liberal studies course

... will I "die"? Is this an unreal amount of coursework, given the difficulty of the courses I'll be taking? I want to keep high grades in my courses, but I don't how realistic of an expectation this is. I could push back graduation even further, maybe, to slow things up... but there are also all the other factors of undergrad research, preparation for the GRE, etc...

Thanks for taking the time to read through all this! Any and all advice would be immensely appreciated.

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# It may sound crazy, but triple major?

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