I'm going to try to make this as coherent as possible. I'll start with the fundamental question first: Would it be reasonable to take classes outside the Physics undergrad curriculum/required courses that my university doesn't require, but others do? Here's the nitty-gritty: I am currently a community college student(US) in my second year, planning to graduate and transfer to a university after summer 2014. I am planning on majoring in Physics (Most likely double-majoring in Math and Physics). I have already had a full year of University Physics and the full Calc sequence, as well as Differential Equations and Linear Algebra. I'm currently in the process of tentatively planning out my schedule for the next two years, because I find it useful to plan ahead in this way, even if it doesn't turn out exactly as planned. I plan on doing the "Materials and Nanophysics" specialization option. It seems like the most "applied" area of Physics offered here, and I'd like to be as applied as possible. Not to mention the research being done at the department and most of the research opportunities(undergrad assistantship & grad school) are mainly in the areas of computational materials and condensed-matter physics. The only actual class required for the Materials specialization is Solid State Physics. But I have looked around at other universities' websites and have commonly seen the following requirements for a Materials specialization option in their Physics departments: Physical Chemistry w/ lab Engineering Thermodynamics (with phase equilibrium) Intro to Materials Science Mechanics/Characteristics of Solids as well as Solid State Physics. My university has all of these classes (or similar classes) available, but just not compiled into any sort of Materials Science/Materials Physics degree program. So my question is, would it be useful to take any of them? They're not even listed as electives for the Physics degree here. The core Physics curriculum includes Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, so would it be overkill to also take Engineering Thermodynamics in the Mechanical Engineering department as well?