Hello everyone. As you can see, I'm new to these boards (first post). I'm also new to the field of physics, and I've just begun my endeavor as a physics major. My second year of college just started today, and I find myself face-to-face with a nasty dilemma. I spent my freshmen year doing liberal education classes and debating on what I should major in. Towards the end of the year, I decided to try my hand in physics. My original intention was to try my hand in a Physics 1101 (I think, but I don't know for sure, that this would be equivalent to physics 101 in other places of the country; here in Minnesota they use four digits to indicate the level of the class) class, or to put it more descriptively, an algebra-based physics class. The only college math class I had taken was Beginning College Algebra I, and although I aced the class, my knowledge in Algebra is limited to this low level. So, along with this I signed up for a pre-calculus class. Much to my dismay, I found the Physics 1101 class to be full (interestingly enough, considering how next year's batch of freshmen had yet to sign up). So I approached one of the physics professors to ask him if he could get me a spot in the class. Rather than giving me a position in that class, he recommended that I skip the algebra-based physics and the pre-calculus class, and jump right into the calculus physics, and along with it a calculus class. Although I was surprised and skeptical, at the time I didn't think to obtain some input from any of the math professors on this. Needless to say, I took his advise, and signed up for Physics I (2101) and Calculus I (Math 2471; I'm not sure if these numbers mean anything to anyone, but I'm putting them there anyway). These two classes, according to both the physics and the math departments in my school, go hand in hand, and the best way to learn either subject is to take both of them at the same time. The other problem with going with the lower level classes was that, since they do not offer Physics I the second semester, the only class I would be able to take and have a good reason to during the spring semester was Calculus I, since I was pretty much done with all of my liberal education. I'd really end up just taking the whole semester off, because going to school would be a waste of money. And so, summer passed, and a new year of school has begun today. My first class today was the calculus class. At the end of the class, the professor wanted to talk to me about my math background. So, I had quite a discussion with him. According to him and another math professor (and as I had assumed before), the calculus class would prove to be extremely difficult with my limited background in algebra and my lack of any in-school experience in trigonometry. It actually wasn't so much the calculus I class they were worried about, but rather I would be crippled in the later math classes required for the physics major, which include calc II and differential equations. Later today, I went to talk to the physics professor again and ask what he thought of this. What I got was complete disagreement. He said that I could acquire the algebra and trigonometry skills from the physics I class. He also hated the idea of not having a calculus class prior to his physics class (and, from what I've learned about physics, I certainly must agree). Two different departments, the math department and the physics department, are giving me conflicting advice and recommendations, and I really have no way of knowing who to listen to. The only other fairly qualified source of input I have obtained so far was my brother, a former math major (now an english major) who has had a fair amount of experience in calculus, who told me to go with what the physics professor said to do. Nonetheless, I really don't have enough information to tackle this dilemma of mine, seeing as how, either way, I don't know what I'm getting into. Ultimately, I have three choices: I could do what the physics professor told me to do and keep the calculus I class, I could do what the math professors advised me to do and exchange it for a pre-calculus class and struggle to death in the physics, or I could go with my own intuition and play it safe: completely revamp my schedule, drop both the calc I and the physics I, take pre-calc, try to get a spot in the algebra-based physics class. Then I would take spring semester off since, as I said before, the only class worth taking is calculus I, so the latter is undesirable in that I don't want to spend the next 500 years in undergraduate college. I don't know how much schools in other states differ in their physics curricula, and what aspects of mathematics can be found in which classes, but hopefully I can still get some input here on this decision. What do you think?