1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Need help on picking a science major

  1. Sep 13, 2009 #1
    Hey guys, recently I have been really interested in space and physics, so I was thinking about majoring in astronomy or physics. If I went down that path, I would probably end up being a prof and doing research at a university. However, I also use to have a big interest in biology and chemistry. This got me thinking about majoring in medical physics and possibly going to med school to be doctor. I feel like I don't know what to do. I could do astronomy/astrophysics and study space, or I can do medical physics and study all three major sciences, but I would be leaving space behind. Can anyone here give me some advice?I feel like I want to study everything in science and I can't narrow it down!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2009 #2
    are you in college? if not take some college lvl courses on those subjects and decide for yourself.
  4. Sep 13, 2009 #3
    You'll be able to float around between majors without much negative impact in your first couple years of college. Hell, you can even delay the decision and do something like double major in physics and biochemistry (this is what a guy I know is doing, for essentially the same reason as you). There is also plenty of interdisciplinary work between biology and physics in the field of biophysics, and a lot of condensed matter work is close to chemistry.

    Also, if you want to go to med school, your major doesn't really matter. You just need to take a handful of classes that you'd probably be taking anyways, given your interests. Besides that, medical physics isn't an undergraduate field of study - you'd just be studying physics.
  5. Sep 13, 2009 #4
    You'll have plenty of time to find out what field you want to pursue.

    Firstly, I'd say to stick to Physics instead of Astronomy. I'm not an expert, but from everything I've heard, you're better off staying as general as possible in undergrad. If you do a Physics major and Astronomy minor, I don't believe you'll have any added difficulty of getting into grad school for Astronomy over having an Astronomy major.

    Secondly, you'll have time to worry about the major. The first year or so are all generalized courses. Take biology, take chemistry, take Physics I...if you're still not sure where you want to major, take a microbiology, take an organic chemistry, take Physics II. Even if it takes all of that to figure out what you really want to do, you won't really have wasted any time or taken superfluous classes.
  6. Sep 13, 2009 #5
    Just FYI, you can major in physics (or anything else, for that matter) and still go to med school. Just make sure you take the prereqs, including two semesters each of inorganic chem, organic chem, and biology, all with the labs. And as far as medical physics goes, you can do that with a bachelors degree in physics. Having said that, if you're interested in med school, it's probably best to major in something easy so that you can get a high GPA, because most med schools will use their computers to filter out low GPAs, and they don't give physics majors credit for taking a more difficult major.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook