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Physics Undergrad to P Chem Gradute/Career?

  1. Aug 7, 2012 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I've been doing a lot of soul searching over the past year. I am an undergrad who recently became an applied physics major, with a chem and math minor. I am probably going to turn the math minor into a double major.

    Anyhoo, with that brief intro, I was wondering if there was anyone here, or if anyone knew anybody who started out as a physics undergrad and went on to do physical chemistry in graduate school or as a career. I love, love, love chemistry so p chem seems attractive to me. I also thought maybe my chem and math backgrounds would make me more qualified to go into a p chem program eventually. Thoughts?

    Thank you. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2012 #2
    Presuming that your chem minor has had you take the typical organic chemistry and physical chemistry sequence, then yes, you should be minimally qualified for admission to a chemistry graduate program.

    Also, this seems to be something I mention on here semi-regularly - there are also distinct chemical physics graduate programs out there that you might want to investigate. Typically, they are distinguished from the straight chemistry graduate programs by mandating certain physics courses (usually in classical mechanics and electrodynamics) and formally permitting you to conduct your dissertation research with faculty in both physics and chemistry departments.
  4. Aug 7, 2012 #3
    My minor has had me take a full year of organic chemistry but no p chem. I thought about taking p chem and getting it substituted into my physics degree because at my school we have to take some really silly classes in the physics program-like a crosslisted physics/English class where I have already read most of the books from anyways. Quantum Mechanics is also almost never offered at my school as well so taking p chem might help me there, too. I am young and have just started the program so I have a while to think about these things of course. This fall I am contemplating taking a p chem research course that involves nanotech and robots. I know this isn't a substitute for a full year of p chem but I thought it would still look good and it looks like a lot of fun regardless.

    Thank you so much for telling me about chemical physics. I never thought of the reverse before. I am checking it out now. That really helped. :) I feel like chemistry comes naturally to me so I would love to be involved in any type of chemistry.
  5. Aug 7, 2012 #4
    There's actually many professors of chemistry in physical chemistry that did their BS's in physics. So you can do it for sure. There's alot of stuff in physical chemistry that requires a full physics background to fully understand.
  6. Sep 8, 2012 #5
    Thanks for all the helpful advice, everyone. :)
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