• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products via PF Here!

Programs Math major with Physics minor (Complicated)

Hi Guys,

So this would sound complicated. Here is the thing, I've been in college in 2014. Went to a community college 2014-2017 and recently transferred to a four year during Fall 2017. It took me till Fall 2018 to realized how much I loved Math. Math has been my passion for a long time, but when I discovered chemistry I followed that path. Chemistry to me was my passion but I started to upon to realized during the organic chemistry sequence and being a TA assistant in for General Chemistry 1 Lab. That for me it was hard because I couldn't get the concept but I did understand the math behind it. Although I did better in the lab, lecture to me was much harder. I'm very lucky I can still graduate in Spring 2021 after switching majors.

However, the math department requires a minor and as of now is economics. I have been considering switching to Physics because I feel economics won't help me in the long run which is Atmospheric Science (ATM). I'm also taking ATM major courses like Atmospheric Dynamics and Thermodynamics. Here is my potential schedule and I'm wondering how can I take physics. For my dad's job to pay for summer tuition, I need two courses and it can be anywhere.

Here are my Physics sequence grades:
Calculus-Based Physics 1 Fall 2017: F
Algebra-Based Physics 1 Summer 2018: C+
Calculus-Based Physics 2 Fall 2018: C- *might retake in summer 2020*

Spring 2019: 18 credits
AATM 211: Weather Analysis & Forecasting (4)
I CSI 210 (= I CEN 210) Discrete Structures (4) (Unsure, but I really want to complete the CS requirements for my math major) Need two CS courses.
AMAT 299: Introduction to Proofs (3)
AMAT 311: Ordinary Differential Equations (3)
AMAT 409: Vector Analysis
U UNL 299 Information Literacy in Mathematics and Statistics (1) * Offered as a quarter course.*
Summer 2019:
Self-pace online course through University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign math department called NetMath
UIUC Math 415 Applied Linear Algebra
PHY 183B Physics for Scientists and Engineers I Online (Michigan State University)
Fall 2019: 15 credits
AMAT 312: Basic Analysis (3)
AMAT 326: Classical Algebra (3)
AATM 316: Dynamic Meteorology I (3)
AATM 320: Atmospheric Thermodynamics (3)
AATM 311: Severe and Hazardous Weather and Forecasting (3)
Spring 2020: 12 credits
AMAT 327: Elementary Abstract Algebra (3)
AATM 317: Dynamic Meteorology II (3)
AATM 321: Physical Meteorology (4)
AATM 350: Meteorological Data Analysis and Visualization (2)
Fall 2020: 13 credits
AMAT 413: Advanced Calculus I (3) *It might not be offered but if it was offered I would take it*
AATM 400 Synoptic Meteorology I (3) *goal*
GER 101 Elementary German I (4)
Spring 2021 (Last Semester)
AMAT 414: Advanced Calculus II (3) *It might not be offered but if it was offer I would take it.
AATM 401: Synoptic Meteorology II (3)

Updated December 26, 2018

My questions what Physics courses will be useful to take as a minor?
These are requried for minor
A PHY 240 Physics III: Structure of Matter (3):
An introduction to the fundamentals of physics: Thermodynamics and kinetic gas theory. Quantum theory of photons, atoms, nuclei and solids. Fall only
A PHY 250 Physics IV: Waves:
Waves and oscillations in optics, in classical and in quantum mechanics. An introduction to physical concepts (wave packets, normal modes, interference and diffraction) and mathematical techniques (Fourier series, transforms, complex numbers, eigenvectors). Spring only
Two courses with an A PHY prefix at the 300 level or above.
I'm thinking
A PHY 440 Quantum Physics I:
Introduction to non-relativistic quantum mechanics; wave functions, amplitudes and probabilities; the superposition of quantum states, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Time evolution: the Schroedinger equation, stationary states, two-state systems. Motion in one-dimensional potentials: tunneling, particle in a box, harmonic oscillator.
A PHY 340 Electromagnetism I (3)
Electrostatics and magnetostatics in vacuum and in materials. Maxwell's equations. Energy and momentum in the electromagnetic field. Introduction to electromagnetic waves.
A PHY 320 Classical Mechanics (3)
Fundamentals of Newtonian mechanics: conservation theorems, central forces, motion in non-inertial frames, rigid-body motion. Lagrange's and Hamilton's equations.
A PHY 472 Fluid Mechanics (3)
Most fluids are described by the Navier-Stokes equation. Simplifications or approximations are often needed to extract the physics from this complicated equation. Topics covered include: static fluids, pressure and surfaces; the Euler equation, d’Alembert’s paradox, Bernoulli’s equation and circulation; viscosity, damping and the Reynolds number; boundary layers and turbulence; waves and sound propagation. A PHY 320 and A MAT 214.
MAT 214 is Calculus 3 which I already completed it




*** I'm not an atmospheric science major I'm just taking the courses as electives.***
 
49
39
I'm unsure how you can take most of those physics classes without passing the first calc-based physics course.
 
I'm unsure how you can take most of those physics classes without passing the first calc-based physics course.
That's why I'm retaking it in the summer!
 
49
39
That's why I'm retaking it in the summer!
My apologies, didn't see that.

In that case, I wouldn't be sure what to recommend. It doesn't seem like quantum or electromagnetism would align with your goals. I just don't know enough about atmospheric sciences to build a picture for you.
 
My apologies, didn't see that.

In that case, I wouldn't be sure what to recommend. It doesn't seem like quantum or electromagnetism would align with your goals. I just don't know enough about atmospheric sciences to build a picture for you.
No worries. I hope fluids Mechanics is offered so that way I can take Classical mechanics since that is a prereq for fluids. Or it will have to be quantum and electromagnetism or Classical mechanics.
 

ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
2018 Award
34,925
3,800
Hi Guys,

So this would sound complicated. Here is the thing, I've been in college in 2014. Went to a community college 2014-2017 and recently transferred to a four year during Fall 2017. It took me till Fall 2018 to realized how much I loved Math. Math has been my passion for a long time, but when I discovered chemistry I followed that path. Chemistry to me was my passion but I started to upon to realized during the organic chemistry sequence and being a TA assistant in for General Chemistry 1 Lab. That for me it was hard because I couldn't get the concept but I did understand the math behind it. Although I did better in the lab, lecture to me was much harder. I'm very lucky I can still graduate in Spring 2021 after switching majors.

However, the math department requires a minor and as of now is economics. I have been considering switching to Physics because I feel economics won't help me in the long run which is Atmospheric Science (ATM). I'm also taking ATM major courses like Atmospheric Dynamics and Thermodynamics. Here is my potential schedule and I'm wondering how can I take physics. For my dad's job to pay for summer tuition, I need two courses and it can be anywhere.

Here are my Physics sequence grades:
Calculus-Based Physics 1 Fall 2017: F
Algebra-Based Physics 1 Summer 2018: C+
Calculus-Based Physics 2 Fall 2018: C- *might retake in summer 2020*
I am very confused here.

Why "atmospheric science"? It doesn't seem to fit into anything at all here. Did you just open your college course catalog and randomly picked something?

You said you "switched" major. I am guessing that this was from Chemistry to Math. And now, you're a math major and your school requires a minor. You selected economics. But now it seems that you're considering physics, but then, you dabbled in atmospheric science for your electives, while in physics, you're crashing badly!

Have I summed up the situation correctly?

If I have, then put yourself in my shoes and understand why none of this makes any sense from my perspective. There appears to be no rhyme or reason for why you're doing things or for your choices.

What do you wish to be when you "grow up"?

Zz.
 

Choppy

Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
4,477
1,553
I'm pretty confused about the question as well. Do you have an academic advisor at your school to speak with? That person might be able to give you better, more specific advice to your particular situation and school.
 

gleem

Science Advisor
1,316
729
Another thing that jumps out is your problem with the science courses. F in calc based physics I and C - in physics II . That looks like big problems for the other more challenging physics courses that you are thinking about taking.
 
I am very confused here.

Why "atmospheric science"? It doesn't seem to fit into anything at all here. Did you just open your college course catalog and randomly picked something?

You said you "switched" major. I am guessing that this was from Chemistry to Math. And now, you're a math major and your school requires a minor. You selected economics. But now it seems that you're considering physics, but then, you dabbled in atmospheric science for your electives, while in physics, you're crashing badly!

Have I summed up the situation correctly?

If I have, then put yourself in my shoes and understand why none of this makes any sense from my perspective. There appears to be no rhyme or reason for why you're doing things or for your choices.

What do you wish to be when you "grow up"?

Zz.
Sorry for the confusion. I didn't want to add why I was taking Atmospheric science (ATM) courses as well in the first post. Basically, when I transfer to my four-year university I was originally an Atmospheric Science major but due to something I had to change to chemistry. Now I have the opportunity to take the courses a major would without majoring it. Atmospheric Dynamics 1 and 2, Synoptic Meteorology 1 and 2 and the prereqs. Don't ask me how I was able to do this but I'm so happy I can :) It was a very long process and I know most of the professors in the Atmospheric Science department.

I'm taking these ATM courses because I want to apply to grad school for ATM. If I get good grades along with math I can be considered a strong applicant.

When I grow up, I want to either get accepted to grad school or go to the military (Navy or Air Force) for Meteorology officer. The military is a backup plan and I've been considering it since I was in high school. I didn't go straight after high school because I wanted to get my degree first.
 
Another thing that jumps out is your problem with the science courses. F in calc based physics I and C - in physics II . That looks like big problems for the other more challenging physics courses that you are thinking about taking.
After getting a lot of exposure to the physics problems (Physics 2) and know how to approach them. I feel more confident about going to Physics 1 again. The reason I didn't do well in my first time was that I had a bad professor who did not teach and made it difficult for me to do well. I tried to self-study but I was taking Organic Chemistry 1 and calculus 2. Also, the transition from CC to four- year was really hard for me.
 

ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
2018 Award
34,925
3,800
Sorry for the confusion. I didn't want to add why I was taking Atmospheric science (ATM) courses as well in the first post. Basically, when I transfer to my four-year university I was originally an Atmospheric Science major but due to something I had to change to chemistry. Now I have the opportunity to take the courses a major would without majoring it. Atmospheric Dynamics 1 and 2, Synoptic Meteorology 1 and 2 and the prereqs. Don't ask me how I was able to do this but I'm so happy I can :) It was a very long process and I know most of the professors in the Atmospheric Science department.

I'm taking these ATM courses because I want to apply to grad school for ATM. If I get good grades along with math I can be considered a strong applicant.

When I grow up, I want to either get accepted to grad school or go to the military (Navy or Air Force) for Meteorology officer. The military is a backup plan and I've been considering it since I was in high school. I didn't go straight after high school because I wanted to get my degree first.
This is CRAZY!

First of all, nowhere in the title of this thread, and in your first post, was there any indication of your intention to major in Atmospheric Science. NONE! All we were told was that you took courses in Atmospheric Science, out of nowhere, for no apparent reason.

Secondly, why are you majoring in Math if your sole intention was to apply for grad school in Atmospheric Science? Why aren't you majoring in Atmospheric Science, with a minor in math? Yet, you are pursuing a math major, with an intention to minor in physics?!! I am utterly confused! I mean, how many courses can you take in atmospheric science as electives while majoring in math and minoring in {insert minor here}?

Did you come up with this scheme, or is this the result of bad advising from your Advisor?

Zz.
 
This is CRAZY!

First of all, nowhere in the title of this thread, and in your first post, was there any indication of your intention to major in Atmospheric Science. NONE! All we were told was that you took courses in Atmospheric Science, out of nowhere, for no apparent reason.

Secondly, why are you majoring in Math if your sole intention was to apply for grad school in Atmospheric Science? Why aren't you majoring in Atmospheric Science, with a minor in math? Yet, you are pursuing a math major, with an intention to minor in physics?!! I am utterly confused! I mean, how many courses can you take in atmospheric science as electives while majoring in math and minoring in {insert minor here}?

Did you come up with this scheme, or is this the result of bad advising from your Advisor?

Zz.
I had the chance to major in ATM this semester and I could have still graduated on time. However, I didn't have the prerequisite to take A ATM 210/210Z Atmospheric Structure, Thermodynamics, and Circulation (3) which is a course that is used to prepare you to take upper-level meteorology courses. The prerequisite was Calculus-Based physics 1 and Calculus 1. I was very fortunate to take the class with permission from the professor since I took Algebra-Based- Physics 1 over the summer. She could have not given me the permission but I told her I'm taking Calculus-Based Physics 2 and she said it would be fine as long you I take Calc- based physics 1 again which I'm doing over the summer. The reason she said to retake physics 1 again was so I can prepare myself to take Atmospheric Dynamics 1 which is heavy in physics 1 topics. For some reason, Calc- based physics 2 is required for Atmospheric Dynamics 1. Now that I finished Physics 2 I can take it.

Fall 2018 was the last chance I could have majored in ATM and graduated on time in 2021. Since the Meteorology requires three years to complete the degree with the freshman taking all the prerequisites to take ATM 210 in the Fall of their Sophomore year.

Atmospheric Science minor requires three required courses:
ATM 209: Weather Workshop *Sit down as audit student but didn't take the class for credit*
ATM 210: ATM 210/210Z Atmospheric Structure, Thermodynamics, and Circulation *finished
ATM 211 Weather Analysis and Forecasting Spring 2019
Plus two 300 or higher electives


At my University, there is no set concentration in math. Instead, we have to choose 2 out of 4 areas options: Pick two areas, and take two courses of each.
  • Algebra: A MAT 326, 327, 328, 424
  • Analysis: A MAT 311, 312, 314, 409, 412, 413, 414
  • Geometry/topology: A MAT 331, 342, 432, 441, 442
  • Probability/statistics: A MAT 308, 362 or 367*, 363, 370, 464, 46
I chose Algebra and Analysis since most of the grad programs I'm looking at requires Algebra or Analysis. Since I figured I only need to take two courses of each that is why I chose to take ATM as well.

The Math Major required courses:

A MAT 112: Calculus 1 Got D first time, retook it and got B
A MAT 113: Calculus 2 B-
A MAT 214: Calculus 3 B
A MAT 220: Linear Algebra (Taking it online summer 2019)
A MAT 229: Introduction to Proofs (Spring 2019)
U UNL 299 Information Literacy in Mathematics and Statistics (Spring 2019)

I hope this answers your questions.
 

Vanadium 50

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
22,844
5,092
If you don't know where you are going, any path will take you there.
 
Last edited:

gleem

Science Advisor
1,316
729
It sound like your are trying to orchestrate this on your own. You really should talk (should have been talking) to someone in the ATM program.
 
UPDATE: I got an email saying I can’t minor in physics due to the I got C- in Physics 2. I would love have to retake it but I’m already booked for the next two semesters. That means I’m minoring in atmospheric science and will only have to take a one credit required course in Fall 2019. Along with one more 300 level course of choice. I’m still taking all the ATM courses I listed.
 
UPDATE: I got an email saying I can’t minor in physics due to the I got C- in Physics 2. I would love to retake it but I’m already booked for the next two semesters. That means I’m minoring in atmospheric science and will only have to take a one credit required course in Fall 2019. Along with one more 300 level course of choice. I’m still taking all the ATM courses I listed.
 

USAFA10s

Gold Member
10
17
If being a meteorology officer in the Air Force is your back up plan, I think you need a new back up plan...

That is not a particularly easy path and usually requires some pretty good grades. If you have Air Force questions, I am an Air Force physicist (61D) - I just wanted to make sure you recognize that meteorology is a small specific career field in the officer community - to get there you will need to either do AFROTC in college or get into OTS after you graduate. Just make sure you know what that looks like - it is a difficult path.
 

Want to reply to this thread?

"Math major with Physics minor (Complicated)" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top