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Question about physics graduate school

  1. Apr 25, 2012 #1
    Hello all,

    I am currently an undergraduate in physics and have a significant amount of room in my schedule for classes. This is because I took mostly maths and general classes my freshman year, when deciding my major, and now will have to stay an extra half or full year to complete the core physics classes. My question is what classes outside of physics(if any) will advance my chances of getting accepted into graduate school. I am not interested in double majoring and a mathematics minor is basically contained within the physics major. I have a choice of classes from any other field and maths which aren't included in the physics degree, and I was just wondering what would be most helpful? Maybe just any maths which aren't required that you graduate students find yourself using on a regular basis that I could get a jump start on, or anything else that would make me a more well rounded physicist.

    Maths which are required: Obviously Calc I,II, and III, Differential equations, Partial Differential equations and linear algebra.(I noticed that absolutely no statistics is required, perhaps I am expected to pick that up in quantum?)

    If it helps my area of interest for graduate school is theory in either astrophysics or particle physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2012 #2
    I would take any classes that would give me programming skills. I hear knowing how to use python, matlab, fortran, c or anything of the like is quite useful in grad school. Cheers.
  4. Apr 25, 2012 #3


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    I agree; take a basic programming class if you can't program already, and then look for something like a computational math or numerical analysis class.
  5. Apr 25, 2012 #4
    Okay it sounds like computer programming could be very beneficial. I have to take a python course for my major but nothing really after that. Would you recommend becoming familiar with java or c? I hear fortran is used a lot but is beginning to be phased out by c.
  6. Apr 25, 2012 #5
    One of my professors from community college did theoretical physics on string theory at caltech and said his most useful course was a numerical class. I didn't do any numerical methods courses as an undergraduate and I imagine that will slow me down in the long run, so that's a recommendation.

    Complex analysis is useful, maybe take a graduate class or two.
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