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Mathematical physics or Math/physics double major?

  1. Mar 2, 2013 #1

    I am a highschool student and my fields of interest are physics and mathematics. I've been advised to apply for the mathematical physics undergraduate program but I don't want to rush so that I won't have to regret my decision afterwards. I have a few questions about the paths I can take later after the Bachelor's degree.

    From what I have understood while researching, I will be able to enroll into graduate studies either into physics or mathematics later. But does this mean that I won't be able to begin a career as an experimental physicist if I wish to? (Because mathematical physics is more heavily focused on theory). Also will I be disadvantaged compared to other applicants when applying for either maths or physics graduate studies because ( I guess) they will have completed more maths or physics courses if they chose only maths or physics for their undergraduate studies?

    I want to keep all the doors related to maths and physics (I mean the careers) open for me. So I was thinking of double majoring in maths and physics instead. But i don't know which one will be better. Please help me; I don't want to regret afterwards.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2013 #2
    Well you don't necessarily have to pick now. To truly make a wise decision you will have to goto college and then decide. Plus you can still go into grad school for experimental physics with your BA in mathematical physics. Just get an idea of which you want to do your first two years. Then go for your BA in whichever you want or both.
  4. Mar 3, 2013 #3
    Thanks. I have a better idea of it now. But with a Bachelor's degree in mathematical physics, can I still move on to a pure mathematics graduate program? Or would it be better to double major? (Because as I said I want to have all doors open for later.)
  5. Mar 4, 2013 #4
    I'm pretty sure you can. I think its more about your abilities, with a degree in mathematical physics you really shouldn't have any problems getting into a school for pure math or expiremental physics. Getting a BA in both would just be a large cost for not that much of a gain. Although, if you want two BAs then go for it, but a single degree will not really harm your chances for grad school.
  6. Mar 4, 2013 #5
    Okay thank you very much for your advice. Maybe I am over-thinking too much about these things. I'll just take a dive for the mathematical physics program then and later I'll make up my mind for the graduate studies I want to pursue.
  7. Mar 4, 2013 #6
    No it's always good to plan for your future, but as long as you do something with math or physics your options for grad school will stay open. Good luck.
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