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Masters in physics after geology degree?

  1. Sep 7, 2013 #1
    Hi, I'm currently starting a geology degree and I was wondering if it would be possible after graduation to do a masters in physics, more specifically nuclear physics. I've contacted my universities head of physics and he said "geology can be acceptable" however I don't feel like this is a strong enough answer as I don't want to be studying geology for 3 years to then suddenly realise that there is no hope in hell of me ever going into physics. The reason I never took physics is because I never took maths for my a level, so I want to have a second chance to study the subject I love. Would switching to chemistry increase my chances of getting into this course? Or is there a chance of me doing this masters with geology? The only physics element consists of optional 'physics for geologists' modules on year 1 and geophysics in year 3. Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2013 #2
    Witten stuided history in undergraduate..... probably geology is more "physical" than history
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  4. Sep 7, 2013 #3


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    Well, sooner or later you will have to catch up with all the math you have missed (i.e. the mandatory math courses for undergraduate physicists). Maybe you can do some of that in parallel with your geology.

    ... and once he figured out what he really wanted to do, he enrolled for applied math at princeston, not for physics!
  5. Sep 7, 2013 #4
    Thanks for the replies. I've already taught myself quite a large amount by watching lectures on YouTube. I guess the math is indeed the main problem. Would chemistry be a better option?
  6. Sep 7, 2013 #5
    For the purpose "increase my chances of getting into this course", perhaps the best solution is to apply as much as possible...
  7. Sep 7, 2013 #6
    I'll be spamming every university! I've found a nuclear fission research PhD that accepts Geology, so I guess that could be a good route to go down.
  8. Sep 7, 2013 #7

    D H

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    There's a saying worth remembering here: The exception proves the rule. Yes, it is possible to undertake a graduate program that has little or even nothing to do with one's undergraduate degree. On the other hand, it's not very common, and the competition to get in is much steeper.

    Just because you found a school that won't reject you out of hand because your degree is in geology does not mean they will accept you.

    You said in the opening post that you are starting a geology degree. Now, rather than three years from now, is the time to switch. It *might* take one extra class, two at the most, to catch up at this very early stage. That's all. Three years down the road it's going to be ten classes, minimum, you need to take to catch up. Moreover, you will be studying a subject during those three years that you doesn't quite grab your fancy. It's hard to get good grades in a subject you don't like, and you are going to need very good grades to make that transition from geology to physics.
  9. Sep 8, 2013 #8
    Switch to what though? I can't take physics as I never took Mathematics beforehand and that was required for entry.
  10. Sep 8, 2013 #9
    If you don't have enough math now to start a bachelor in physics now what makes you think you will have enough math to start a masters after a geology bach?

    You have 3 options that I can think of
    A) Work for a year while you take all the prerequisites necessary for starting physics studies and enroll next year.
    B) Start on the geology bach. while you take the prerequisites to start on the physics studies and enroll on/switch to physics studies next year (Don't know the local rules, or even which country you are in)
    C) Do the Geology bachelor while you do most of a physics bachelor as electives/extra subjects during that time. (Probably not gonna happen)

    You should talk to an advisor at Uni on what your options are.
  11. Sep 8, 2013 #10

    D H

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    MrGeology, it's an advisor in your university rather than some random person on the internet who is best suited to offer you good advice.

    I can guarantee one thing: You are not going to learn the requisite math *and physics* by watching a bunch of random youtube videos. Fix the problem now rather than later. Put it off and the problem can only grow.
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