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Minor in physics: Worth it?

  1. Apr 6, 2009 #1
    I'm currently a mathematics major going into my senior year with a minor in physics declared. The minor in physics is 5 courses, physics 1 and 2 cover kinematics and E&M, and include a limited focus on relativistic physics, then there's a lab to go along with them. Modern Physics 1 and 2 cover quantum mechanical models, more advanced E&M and subjects relating to modern physical theories. I don't plan on being a physicist when I graduate, but I find the knowledge interesting. I've also kept the minor because I feel it might lend me a leg up in the job market post graduation. My caveat with this is that taking the physics courses is affecting my performance in my mathematics courses, as the physics work is immensely easier but still time consuming, so tends to get my attention more than the math work. If I were to drop the minor and focus on math, I could either take a lighter course load for my remaining 3-4 semesters or even finish in 3 semesters rather than 4. Is there a ton of benefit to having that minor on paper, or would I be better off focusing on the mathematics and study the physics in my free time and/or summers? (I can't do the courses for the minor in the summer because the cost is prohibitive)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2009 #2
    I did a minor in physics, as a mathematics student in college and found it well worth it. My PhD is in pure mathematics, but with strong application in theoretical physics, and that's insight and inspiration I never would have had if it wasn't for my physics minor. I also appreciate the physics colloquium here a lot more since I have some background in it now.

    For me, it did mean taking a pretty heavy course load, but it didn't impact the math courses I could/did take, so for me, it was only gain. I would never have taken physics over an interesting math course though.

    I also found physics more difficult in many ways than most of my mathematics courses, but I've always had a much better relationship with proofs than with long calculation, like most physics courses seem to focus on.

    If your physics minor includes subjects that interest you, then do it. I found mine very worthwhile. Also, intro physics courses at my school had girls. Advanced math courses didnt.
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