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Masters in physics without a different bachelors degree?

  1. Jun 6, 2015 #1
    Hello I am an incoming Biology student (college), i really wanted to take applied physics as my course but my parents told me that it is better to be a doctor, anyways, it's summer here and I started taking Calculus 1 in coursera.com (i have NO backgroud in calculus because we don't have calculus here in the philippines because we lack some years, we are only up to 10th grade then college, we only have algera based physics and trigonometry and precal) i want to be an astrophysicist majoring in the field of high energy astrophysics (black holes, radiation etc..) I also want to study QFT, Quantum Mechanics and Particle Physics (I wanna do a research about those things, i wanna contribute to the science world :) ) my question is can I apply for a Masters degree in Physics/astrophysics in the US without having a bachelors in physics? (My other options are taking extra classes of physics in my school or study bachelors again in physics after I graduate biology while in med school, the age difference won't really matter because i'm only 16 and i will graduate biology by 19 or 20:) ) i will be truly devastated if I would not be a physicist one day, it is my dream and it's sad how easily it can be shattered just because i was born in a country with a lower eduction standard :( anyways thank you and have a nice day :)
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2015 #2
    A similar question has been asked before, I'll provide you with a link: click me
    So yes, it is possible. I think it depends where you want to go though.

    What I don't understand is that why you are doing a biology major when that is not even something you want. I am more than certain that your parents would want you to be happy instead of doing something you do not want because they say so.
    A Bachelor's degree in Physics will set you up way better, as most classes will go into QM and such. Atleast, that is the case in the Netherlands, not sure about the US.

    I don't know whether you thought about Graduate School yet but while it is possible to go to Physics GS with Biology, a Physics BSc and MSc will always be better.
    This is all because you want to be an astrophysicist. Have you thought about biophysics yet?

    If astrophysicist is really what you want, I'd suggest talking to your parents once more.
  4. Jun 6, 2015 #3
    Hello, thank you for your reply :) They insist on letting me go to med school, but it is really fine for me since i also like biology and medicine:) but can't i be a physicist and a physician simultaneously? And also can I take both astrophysics and biophysics? I know biophysics is about to be huge (from the link you gave me, thanks for it :) ) but i've loved astronomy ever since i was a child and i'm interested in various fields and branches of physics, it would be great if i'd be able to achieve both PhD in astrophysics/physics and MD in oncology (study of cancers and tumors), thank you again for taking time to read and answer my question, have a nice day:)
  5. Jun 6, 2015 #4
    You'd be like Thomas Young. ;)
    While it is possible to take two majors (double major), I would only consider doing that if that is something that you really, really want! It will add significantly to your workload. Although, I could see that some classes between astrophysics and biophysics overlap.

    Two doctorates are possible (PhD and MD) but I don't have experience with that. I'll let someone else answer that before I give you any false hopes.
  6. Jun 6, 2015 #5
    Thank you for your kindness :) hopefully i can work it out :)
  7. Jun 6, 2015 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    In the US, students who plan to go to medical school do not have to major in biology in college or university, although most of them probably do. Medical schools expect applicants to have taken a certain range of courses in biology (which do not form a complete biology major), chemistry, and even some physics, as well as other subjects. They can (in principle) major in any field, so long as they can work those courses into their schedule somehow.

    The system in the Philippines may be more rigid.
  8. Jun 6, 2015 #7


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    Education Advisor

    Your parents insist that it's better to be a doctor? For starters, one can major in literally ANYTHING and go to med school as long as they also complete the pre-med requirements. One does not need to major in biology, biochemistry, etc. to go to medical school. A large portion of med school acceptees have majored in fields in the liberal arts and humanities. If you have other interests, there's no reason that you can't pick a different major and still complete your med school requirements. Many students do it.

    Although this is only as things pertain to the US system.
  9. Jun 6, 2015 #8
    Hello thank you guys for your replies, but here we can only go to med school if we finished bachelors degree in either biology, pharmacy, med tech, physical therapy, biochemistry and nursing. And out of all those courses i am most interested in biology so.. :( thank you for the help again have a nice day :)
  10. Jun 7, 2015 #9


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    Education Advisor

    Do you yourself aspire to go to med school, or is this just what your parents think is best for you?
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