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Courses Not really sure how many classes to take...

  1. Jan 8, 2017 #1
    I work 20-25 hours a week, am a physics major, and am currently signed up for Mechanics 1, Mathematical Physics, Intermediate Lab (An actual course - not like general physics labs), and Linear Algebra. I've taken Linear Algebra before and dropped it about halfway through the semester because I couldn't handle it along with Chinese, Modern Physics, another problem solving physics course, and work. I think if I stayed in Linear Algebra I would have done completely fine though, I just didn't want to chance it. Anyway now I am pretty sure I am at least acquainted with four out of five chapters of a linear algebra course. I also have the book for reference. I know that you learn Linear Algebra in Mathematical Physics. So should I actually take it, or should I drop it and focus on the three physics courses and work?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 8, 2017 #2
    Taking Linear Algebra would mean I would have to spend another $500 for the course too.
  4. Jan 8, 2017 #3


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    What is a standard course load at your school? 20-25 hours per week at a part-time job is a fairly serious time commitment - significant enough that it would likely strain your ability to carry a full course load and perform at your optimum. You will likely encounter situations where you would have to decide between completing an assignment or dropping a shift.

    On the other hand, I don't know what an undergraduate course in "mathematical physics" entails, but it seems highly likely that it will require a solid background in linear algebra. Double check if linear algebra is a prerequisite or co-requisite course. The point I guess is that you'll need that linear algebra sooner or later and not taking it now might dig yourself into a hole - if not for this course, then for other courses in the future where it's assumed knowledge.

    The way I would decide on something like this is to attempt it at first and make the decision whether to carry through based on actual evidence of how you perform as it progresses. Making it based on how tough you think it *might* be could end up penalizing you for no reason.

    You might want to go to your academic advisor with this question too. He or she will likely have dealt with this question before, at your school, and be able to offer more specific advice.
  5. Jan 9, 2017 #4
    I agree with Choppy. It feels weird to take Mathematical physics wihout knowing linear algebra very well. So you'll need to look into this.
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