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Courses Optimal order to persue undergraduate upper division physics coursework

  1. Mar 22, 2009 #1
    I've decided to go back to school to study physics.

    I was a physics minor the last time I was in undergrad, and have an undergraduate math degree an undergraduate computer engineering degree as well as a graduate degree in electrical engineering.

    So, after meeting with the dean of physics at the near-by state university, I was told I can start on the upper division coursework as part of a "second bachelor's" degree which he believes I can complete in two years (starting fall-semester).

    I am meeting with him again on Tuesday to figure out a little more about what I will be doing.

    My eventual aim, at least based on my current interests, is to work in High Energy physics.

    To that end, I wanted to see if people here had opinons on which upper divission courses are a must (beyond the ones required for the degree), and to see if people found taking particular courses before or after particular other courses to be easier or more difficult.

    Here are the upper division offerings at the university:
    PHYS 105 (Mathematical Methods)
    PHYS 106 (Intro to Modern Physics)
    PHYS 110 (Classical Mechanics)
    PHYS 115 (Electronics and Instrumentation)
    PHYS 145 (Optics)
    PHYS 124 (Thermodynamics)
    PHYS 135 (Electricity and Magnetism)
    PHYS 136 (Electrodynamics)
    PHYS 150 (Quantum Mechanics)
    PHYS 151 (Advanced Modern Physics)
    PHYS 156 (Advanced Classical and Statistical Mechanics)
    PHYS 175 (Advanced Physics Laboratory)
    PHYS 116 (Advanced Electronics and Instrumentation)
    PHYS 130 (Acoustics)
    PHYS 142 (Applied Solid State Physics)
    PHYS 162 (Computational Physics)

    Other than taking the "Intro" before "advanced" and following the prerequisite chain...

    Are there any particular classes you would recommend taking first?

    From my minor, I have Intro. to Modern Physics, some basic solid-state physics, Electrostatics and Thermal Physics. Also, I have been working as an electrical engineer for 9 years, so some of the electronics and instrumentation may be redundant.

    I'm not sure exactly how much will transfer, but I wouldn't mind relearning some basics, even if that means it will take me 2 and a half years or three years to complete (especially since I will be working a 50-60 hr job at the same time).
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2009 #2
    Are you aware that you will more than likely not work in high energy physics with a bachelors in physics? Do you intend to get a phd?

    Sorry I cannot be of more help with your coursework though.
  4. Mar 22, 2009 #3
    Of course. I plan to do my phd after that, but as a full-time student. I have already resolved to spenf about 10 years on this (2-3 on undergrad, 6-7 on grad).
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