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Major or Minor in Physics

  1. Jan 1, 2016 #1
    I'm currently a sophomore in college studying computer science while minoring in both physics and chemistry. I constantly find myself debating whether I should or shouldn't major in physics instead of it being a minor. I already have quite a workload with computer science and I'm not sure how much will be added with physics in the mix. My main concern is increasing my workload to an unmanageable point.

    Does anyone have any tips they think would help me manage in terms of studying and keeping up with work?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 1, 2016 #2


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    I think the real question that you have to wrestle with is why you would want to major in physics in the first place.

    The general difference between a major and a minor is that the major will open the door for you to attend graduate school in that area if you want. A minor doesn't really qualify you for that. So if you're potentially interested in doing graduate work in physics, by all means you should take the major. If you're pretty sure that you're going to go on in computer science or stop after your bachelor's degree, the second major likely won't be worth a lot for you.

    With respect to increasing your workload, it's hard to give a lot of suggestions without really knowing how well you're doing now and what you're struggling with when it comes to time management. Some people do really well with a pile of STEM classes. Some people need to switch gears and throw in a humanities elective to balance things out. Some people are going to struggle if all they do is take a single class, even if they have not other demands on their time.
  4. Jan 1, 2016 #3
    Computer science is something that I began because I saw my life going down a path that I no longer see myself on. I still want a major in the field but what I'll do with the degree has change since I began the journey. In regards to physics, should I major in it, I'm looking to go on to get my masters and possibly a PhD. Originally because of the path I was taking, I didn't see a reason to consider physics as a possible second major and kept it as a minor because of my interest in the subject (much like chemistry). Though, due to the path change, the debate has come up. As far as what I'll do with physics, I have some ideas but I'm ultimately unsure as of now. Also with a possible masters or PhD in physics, my job focus will change from those relating to computer science to those relating to physics. Having both will give me a wider range of jobs to look into should one yield less positive results than the other.
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