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Math or Compsci minor for Physics Major?

  1. Jul 7, 2014 #1
    I am entering my second year in college, and I am thinking about majoring physics with an emphasis in astrophysics. If I were to go to graduate school in astrophysics, which minor would best complement a physics major? Mathematics? Computer Science? Or maybe even statistics?

    If I were to switch majors, I might graduate late because would have to take four quarters of lower division physics during my second year. So far I've only taken 3/4 quarters of calculus, and I'm taking a intro to abstract math course (logic/proof methods/set theory/induction/etc.) right now in the summer because I'm currently statistics major. Would it be not a good idea to minor in anything at all?

    If I were to minor in something, which courses would you recommend for graduate school?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2014 #2


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    Since modern astrophysics involves a lot of computational science, I would go for computer science, though modern statistics also involves a lot of computer work. It depends on how much computer programming you have picked up on your own ... it is possible to self-teach programming, though you need to do quite a bit in order to be good at it.

    You would do well to look at the detailed requirements for a few astrophysics programs.

    You should also talk with an academic adviser for the physics program at your school; they can provide a definite recommended program for you.
  4. Jul 7, 2014 #3
    Thank you for your response!

    So would you say learning more programming languages such as C, C++, R, etc., is more important than learning math topics such as Numerical Analysis, Applied Linear Algebra, Fourier Analysis, Partial Differential Equations, Differential Geometry, etc?
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