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Physics for undergraduate and engeneering for graduate? how feasible is it?

  1. Jul 15, 2012 #1
    My parents are kinda worried about my will to become a physicist. it is not a common course here in Mozambique and find employment could be a little bit hard (but I don't plan to work here...). everybody tells me that I should study applied or engineering physics. to calm down them I argue that, later on, I can major in an applied area (engineering, applied physics...). but is it possible? will I find difficulties by doing this? in other hand, can I have an undergraduate degree in applied physics and later on major in areas such as high energy, astrophysics,etc?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2012 #2
    Yes. Applied Physics learns all the necessary physics classes that can be built later on into things that are more on the formal theory side, or just to use them on a job out of school.

    I'd caution against going into anything too theoretical, since there's so many things in theoretical physics are so far removed from experiment and application that they'd NEVER be used or even seen.
     
  4. Jul 16, 2012 #3
    this won't be a disadvantage while applying to an university? The admission committee won't consider me as a not focused student and consequently lose interest in me?
     
  5. Jul 16, 2012 #4
    You must prove your interest regardless of major.

    There's some areas, such as physical chemistry, condensed matter physics, materials science, biomedical engineering, biochemistry, computational biology, etc. that are much more welcome to outsiders (major switches) than others like theoretical math or high energy astro. Its simply because some areas are quite interdisciplinary and a great variety of people can contribute their skills, and others are very specialized and only a few people can.

    However, if you truly are unfocused, say, going from physical chemistry all the way into high energy astro, then yes, they will junk your application outright unless you could prove (with publications and/or research experience) that you can succeed.

    When I applied to grad school several schools junked my paper outright because I expressed interest in a research area that I didn't have background for (nonlinear optics). On the other hand I was readily accepted by programs when I expressed interest in their condensed matter research, because I already had extensive lab and research experience in materials science.

    I don't sit on an admissions committee so take my thoughts as reference only.
     
  6. Jul 16, 2012 #5
    Thanks anyway...
     
  7. Jul 16, 2012 #6
    Do you maybe have a list of courses for the "Applied Physics" course you're talking about?
     
  8. Jul 16, 2012 #7
    Maybe I expressed myself wrong. I see that Applied Physics is an application in a specific range (biophysics, nanotech, astro,...). But by applied Physics I mean the same as Engineering Physics. In my country the only undergraduate physics courses available are Educational Physics and Applied Physics (which is basically the same as Engineering Physics).
     
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