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NEU for a Bachelors of Physics

  1. Oct 5, 2013 #1
    Im deciding to go to NEU for a Bachelors of Physics, with a specialization in Education. I don't want to have too many classes, but I also want to get full financial/ student aid by being a full time student w/ 4 classes. Could I have 3 classes and still receive full financial/ student aid? I just have a bad feeling that even with studying 50+ hours a week, I may not pass the classes. I'll need at least a 2.5, I can fail classes but I must retake, I can get a maximum of 1 D and still continue. Here is a pasted paragraph of my message to a counselor of the school that I emailed days ago and have not received a message yet.. "I have a few questions..Hello, I recently finished High School and am planning on applying to colleges for a BA in Physics then becoming a Physics Teacher. My GPA for all four years of High school are presented in the following: Freshmen year: 4.00, I also took Honors English. Sophomore year: 3.8-3.9, I took AP World History for half of the year, I transferred states right after Freshmen year. After one semester, I switched schools to a school that did not offer AP World History so I lost viable credit for that. The rest of my second semester at the new school was a 4.0, I also took Cross Country as an extra-curricular. Junior year: 3.8, Sadly, I did not take any AP's this year, I took Cross Country again though, I took human physiology as well as Chemistry this year (2 science courses.) Senior year: AP Biology, AP Physics B, Cross Country, Track and Field, GPA this year was a 4.2. I don't think i'll get much help from trending though.. ACT composite score was a 26, SAT score was a 1820, not the greatest but hey.. I stupidly did not talk to my college counselor so im in a bit of a hole right now.. What are my chances of getting into NAU for Physics? If I can't get in, can you recommend any other colleges offering a degree in Physics that I could get into with these grades?" AP Physics in High School was probably the most mentally challenging course I have ever taken in my life, I cried at one point.. Now, I want to get a BAED (Bachelors Education) in it, partly for the challenge of it. Im just worried that I may not make it...
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2013 #2
    Well your grades are basically perfect right now. But you are still in high school mode; you've yet to really be challenged. Basically, to survive physics, you have to start learning math. Have you taken calc yet? I'm not aware if AP physics is calc-based or not. All of these other AP courses help you learn to tolerate a high workload, but none prepare you for math/physics you'll see other than AP physics, which is just the start.

    If you're worried about how to handle a bachelor's degree in physics, start studying the math and it will give you a head start.

    That's my 2 cents.
  4. Oct 5, 2013 #3
    I have only taken Pre-Calc. Sadly, Math is not my strong suite but I maintain an A. AP Physics C is calc-based. I was considering borrowing one of those 'Teach yourself AP Calculus' books at my local library but I don't think it is the best way to prepare.. By studying math, do you mean reviewing my Pre-calc. notes, Geometry, Algebra, or trying to learn calc?
  5. Oct 6, 2013 #4
    Definitely try to learn calc. I recommend "schaum's teach yourself calculus" books, which are roughly 5 bucks on amazon. And there are dozens of helpful videos on youtube. you can probably get lecture notes somewhere online as well.
  6. Oct 6, 2013 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    You probably don't need four "real" classes, strictly speaking. "4 classes" usually means more precisely 12 semester hours, if you are on the semester system. Lecture classes are usually 3 hours and labs are 1 hour. Intro physics will have a lab, so that's 4 hours right there. At most schools, calculus is a three-course sequence at 4 hours each. So if you take physics, calculus, one 3-hour course and one 1-hour course (e.g. phys ed), that's 12 hours.

    The biggest problem with taking only 12 hours is that if it turns out you really hate one of those three classes or look like you're going to bomb it, you can't drop it without losing your full-time status. Another problem is that most colleges require you to average 15-16 hours per semester over four years in order to build up enough hours to graduate. Here it's 122 hours, other places may require more. So if you take only 12 hours to start with, you'll have to catch up somehow.
  7. Oct 6, 2013 #6

    On top of this, it's usually not that bad to add an extra course or two from your required courses that are simply Gen Eds. You have a number of AP courses, but did you take the exams? If you did you can get out of some of these. My dad, being a prof, complained that he didn't think AP courses teach you as much as the college courses. But even if that were true, AP courses are virtually free and testing out of "unnecessary" college courses is a good thing.

    But of the courses you will have to take that are gen eds., It's always good to take just one or so per semester to make sure you have 15 or more credits so that you can balance the load between technical courses that keep you up at night slaving over homework to a psych 101 course or something where you just read a short chapter a week or something.

    My school was giant and there were tons of gen eds you could take, so I literally would search google for "<my school> easy gen eds" and pick based on that. This attitude may seem negative but it resulted in me being able to have time to get a math minor as extra thing, and take at minimum of 17 credits/sem.
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