Need advice about choosing Physics or Chemistry for my Master's degree

In summary, the person is considering pursuing a master's degree and is unsure which department to join to achieve their goal of understanding the internal operation of semiconductor devices. They have a background in computer and communications engineering and want to study the evolution of atomic structure, bonds, and properties of materials. They are interested in mathematical derivations and are unsure if physics or chemistry would be a better fit. It is suggested that they look into the electrical engineering or materials engineering department at a university.
  • #1
AbdAllah Talaat
1
0
Hi ,
I 'd like to make a master degree but am not sure which department should I join to
meet my goals that I will tell you about shortly , let's begin by my background first,

Background : I have a bachelor in computer and communications engineering , during
my study I had basic Electronics course along with other courses , the course talked about
electronic semiconductor components like BJT, FET ... etc I felt the discussion there was
more like in term of curves and talked about the internal physics and material and
geometrical structure a little bit , as if the device is a black box and we just focus on curves
and deduce circuit models to help design , But that's the starting point for me to dig deeper
inside the device , its material and physical operation , I think that is much related to physics,
chemistry and material science that Electrical engineering.

Goals : I want to achive understanding the internal operation of these semiconductor devices , their
types in terms of materials and geometrical structure and frequency range and circuit modling

I know that physics deals with how atom and light interact and the atom internal structure
while chemistry use results of physics to predict the bonds and possible combination of atoms
to form molecules and materials .. so i want to go through the evolution of atomic structure
classically and in terms of quantum theory and then how bonds are built then the properties of
the materials focusing on semiconductor and electronic materials and their electrical and
magnetic and optical properties .. I care a lot about mathematical derivations for formulas in
physics and chemistry
.. i think that may be related to physical chemistry and solid state chemistry
I know details of the curriculum will be dictated and advised by the academic institute am going to
study in but to start : my question what fits me best ? physics or chemistry ?

Thanks in advance for your help
 
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  • #2
Forget chemistry. Chemistry is evil. This is what I think of chemistry(*)
1594940123813.png
* OK, MAYBE this is just a personal opinion but don't say you haven't been warned.
 
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  • #3
AbdAllah Talaat said:
Hi ,
I 'd like to make a master degree but am not sure which department should I join to
meet my goals that I will tell you about shortly , let's begin by my background first,

Background : I have a bachelor in computer and communications engineering , during
my study I had basic Electronics course along with other courses , the course talked about
electronic semiconductor components like BJT, FET ... etc I felt the discussion there was
more like in term of curves and talked about the internal physics and material and
geometrical structure a little bit , as if the device is a black box and we just focus on curves
and deduce circuit models to help design , But that's the starting point for me to dig deeper
inside the device , its material and physical operation , I think that is much related to physics,
chemistry and material science that Electrical engineering.

Goals : I want to achive understanding the internal operation of these semiconductor devices , their
types in terms of materials and geometrical structure and frequency range and circuit modling

I know that physics deals with how atom and light interact and the atom internal structure
while chemistry use results of physics to predict the bonds and possible combination of atoms
to form molecules and materials .. so i want to go through the evolution of atomic structure
classically and in terms of quantum theory and then how bonds are built then the properties of
the materials focusing on semiconductor and electronic materials and their electrical and
magnetic and optical properties .. I care a lot about mathematical derivations for formulas in
physics and chemistry
.. i think that may be related to physical chemistry and solid state chemistry
I know details of the curriculum will be dictated and advised by the academic institute am going to
study in but to start : my question what fits me best ? physics or chemistry ?

Thanks in advance for your help
To me, your “...focusing on...” seems better suited to physics.
 
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  • #4
Seems like what you may want to do is to find a graduate school catalog for courses given at your prospective graduate university and look at departments of chemistry, or physics, or electrical engineering for a course or program in semiconductor physics.

If I save you the trouble (because these catalogs are not freely available; maybe they are online)., I think you will find that most chemistry departments do not concentrate in this area. I do not think many (if any) physics courses have a course in this area either. I believe you will find your best bet is to examine the electrical engineering department or perhaps materials engineering at most major Universities or institutes. I know they had courses in semiconductor physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute many years ago
 
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  • #5
From your description of your background, do you have the necessary skill set to apply for either of those graduate programs?
 

1. Should I choose Physics or Chemistry for my Master's degree?

Ultimately, the decision between Physics and Chemistry for your Master's degree will depend on your interests and career goals. Both fields offer unique opportunities for research and career advancement. It's important to carefully consider your strengths, weaknesses, and long-term goals before making a decision.

2. What are the main differences between studying Physics and Chemistry?

Physics is the study of matter, energy, and their interactions, while Chemistry focuses on the composition, structure, and properties of matter. Physics tends to be more theoretical and mathematical, while Chemistry is more experimental and practical. Both fields require a strong foundation in mathematics and critical thinking skills.

3. Which field has better job prospects?

Both Physics and Chemistry offer a wide range of career opportunities in various industries, such as research, academia, and technology. It's important to research the job market in your specific area of interest to determine which field may have better job prospects. Additionally, networking and gaining practical experience through internships can also improve your job prospects in either field.

4. Can I study both Physics and Chemistry in my Master's degree?

Some universities may offer interdisciplinary programs that allow students to study both Physics and Chemistry in their Master's degree. However, this may require a heavier course load and longer completion time. It's important to carefully consider if this is the best option for your academic and career goals.

5. How can I decide between Physics and Chemistry if I have equal interest in both?

If you have a strong interest in both Physics and Chemistry, it may be helpful to speak with professors and current students in each field, as well as attend informational sessions and career fairs. You can also consider taking introductory courses in both fields to get a better understanding of their content and methodologies. Ultimately, it's important to choose the field that aligns with your passions and goals, as this will lead to a more fulfilling and successful graduate experience.

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