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Multi-majoring and physics

  1. May 9, 2014 #1
    I know that, at some schools, it was rather easy to fit in a math major on top of a physics major and double-major with sometimes only as little as ~3-4 additional math courses...

    Alternatively, some engineering majors take so many physics courses that they decide, at some point, that it might be a good idea to take up the remaining few physics courses (again, sometimes it can also be as little as 3-4 additional physics courses) and complete a physics major alongside their engineering major, unless they operate on a dual-degree plan similar to Tulane-Vanderbilt or Fordham/W&M-Columbia, in which case they will already complete a physics major.

    How many will, in fact, use physics as a secondary major to something else? Or use physics as a primary major but still have a secondary major?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2014 #2
    I was just seeking advice about doing this in another thread, actually. I was planning on doing Physics primarily, but then adding in Computer Science or Math as a dual major or possibly a minor.
  4. May 10, 2014 #3
    I'm not sure if you're asking if it's a good idea or rather how many people do a double major. I can say in my physics program, roughly half the students are double majoring in math and another large percentage double majoring in something else... I'm in the minority of going straight physics. It may be different at other institutions where there my be more courses required for the physics major and less freedom to explore other fields. I don't necessarily think it's a good idea to double major unless you are really serious about keeping both options open for graduate school.
  5. May 10, 2014 #4
    I was asking how many people did a double major...
  6. May 10, 2014 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Years ago, I did a double major in physics and math at a small liberal-arts college. Along about my junior year, I realized that I had taken enough math already for my physics major, that I could easily do a math major, too. One of the other physics majors in my graduating class also doubled with math.

    If my college had offered a computer science major instead of just a couple of programming courses, I probably would have double-majored in that instead of math, because I enjoyed programming and did a lot of it in my spare time.
  7. May 10, 2014 #6


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    Me too probably. But back then, we WERE the computer scientist. Just sayin'.
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