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Physics AND Math degree?

  1. Oct 14, 2007 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I'm finishing up my undergraduate physics degree this year but happened to check the qualifications for a mathematics degree; I'm only nine classes away from obtaining my math degree.

    I'm definitely going to graduate school for theoretical physics and my qualifications without the math degree are pretty solid: 3.82 GPA, 3.78 Major GPA, good recommendations, research experience, etc... I may not have a clear shot at the top programs but I have a fighting chance.

    Would getting the second degree increase my chances enough to justify another year of undergraduate schooling? Also, from anyone who's been or is in a physics graduate program, would it make my coursework significantly less stressful if I had an extra year of high-end math under my belt? I'm definitely after less stress!

    I've checked the classes I 'have to'/can take and they're all applicable to a physics degree: PDEs, complex analysis/boundary value problems, tensor analysis, advanced calculus, advanced linear algebra, differential geometry, field theory.

    What do you think?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2007 #2
    I would say no, your GPA is good and if you really do have good rec's / reasearch, Then I don't think you have anything to worry about.
    Having a separate Math Major won't seem like too much extra work to Grad Schools as many classes overlap so its minimal extra classes.
    Although the extra math may prove valuable to you doing grad research in Theo Physics, I think its not worth an extra year of undergraduate classes. The extra math can be picked up during grad school.
    That being said, I'm doing a combined Theo Physics and Applied Maths major, however it doesn't take any longer than a normal Physics major. I just picked that because I liked math and physics about equally when applying for college.
  4. Oct 17, 2007 #3


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    If you're going to grad school to study theoretical physics then I imagine you will have to do most of those courses there anyway, at a graduate level. I wouldn't bother with another undergraduate year.
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