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Need help picking out major

  1. Jan 18, 2016 #1
    Hello, I am 17 years old and I live in Alabama. I'm fairly good with physics, computer science, graphic design, teaching, mathematics, and most sciences.
    I would like to end up getting a PhD and teaching in a 4 year university eventually. Recently I have been influenced by my physics teacher to become a physics major and eventually teach physics on a college level
    I am afraid of not being able to do anything with B.S./B.A in Physics. Can I teach high school with that?

    My family has been telling me that I should try getting into Computer Science or Computer Engineering for the job opening and the pay. Maybe I can double-major?

    About me:
    ACT: 25
    GPA (unweighted): 3.6
    **Taking college level Physics and Calculus in high school right now, which will turn into college credits if I pass the AP exam

    Also, if I were to go into physics, what good colleges are there for that major? what about CS or CE?

    I have already applied to the university of south alabama and Id like to go to a university near by, but I can go away from home if need be.

    P.S. right now I have a job that will help me pay my college
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2016 #2
    So in your post, you mentioned:
    - What you're good at
    - What your family wants you to do
    - What your physics teacher wants you to do.

    What do you enjoy the most. Clearly, you really enjoy teaching. Good, that's a start. What subject would you want to teach most of all? What if you don't make it at being a university professor, what would you want to do most outside that?
  4. Jan 18, 2016 #3


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    Can you teach high school physics with a bachelors? Yes.

    If you want to teach in university you should go ahead and go for a PhD. Continuing on to grad school is the course of action most physics majors plan to undertake.

    The University of south Alabama probably isn't the best school in Alabama for physics. Auburn and the University of Alabama look like they have better programs, you might try applying there.
  5. Jan 18, 2016 #4


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    Take some courses in whatever you find interesting before you decide.
  6. Jan 18, 2016 #5
    Im already taking College Calculus and Physics and Ill probably take a computer programming class when I go into college
  7. Jan 20, 2016 #6


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    I read your post twice, and my conclusion is: you are ALL OVER THE PLACE here!

    You want to get a PhD to teach 4-year colleges, but then you ask about teaching with just a B.Sc. And then you don't know what you want to do. Oy vey!

    How about a compromise? If you like physics and computer science, how about aiming for an eventual specialization in computational physics? It means that you major in physics, but you take lots of programming/computational classes as an undergraduate, and then when you go to graduate school (if you are still interested in pursuing a PhD), major in physics but in the computational physics area. This way, if things go wrong along the way, your computational background will make you more desirable and "employable" than just someone with a plain old physics background.

    Maybe this might pacify your family as well since you will have some marketable skills to fall back on if you don't make it as a physicist.

  8. Jan 25, 2016 #7
    I was wondering If I could start teaching with a B.Sc. at a high school level maybe and then continue making my way up for a Ph.D

    Also, I didn't know that that would be possible and I will definitely aim for it. Thank you very much!
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