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Retake physics 1 or take modern physics?

  1. Jul 30, 2013 #1
    Hey guys, looking for some input.

    I've taken algebra based physics 1 (got an A-) and calc based physics 2. It's my last year of undergrad but I am planning to enter a second degree electrical engineering program in the future. Should I retake calc based physics 1 or take modern physics? Would an engineering program require me to take calc physics 1 before doing the core EE classes?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2013 #2
    I don't know how you were able to take calc-based physics 2 without taking the first one but I wouldn't worry about taking calc-based physics 1 just cause you might have "missed out" on something crucial. It MIGHT have prepared you somewhat better. But if you got through physics 2 calc based then I'd take modern physics.

    You didn't miss anything you can't learn by yourself since physics 1 has a minimum of actual calculus. Now if pre-requisites are your concern then you should probably talk to your advisor. Your pre-reqs for modern physics 1 or EE courses (depending on the school) might only be Calc-based physics 2. Or it might specifically say both 2211 and 2212 (calc based physics 1 & 2).

    In summary if you don't need it as a pre-req for modern physics and future EE courses don't worry about it. Make sure that you have the math pre-reqs though. I know for modern physics its common to already have the calcs 1,2 & 3 and differential equations. Followed by linear algebra and vector calculus.
  4. Jul 30, 2013 #3
    Im a little confused could you explain your academic history in more detail please?7
  5. Jul 30, 2013 #4
    Thank you very much. Yeah I'm mostly worried about the new school saying I don't have the calc phys 1 pre-req. By the end of this school year I'd have taken calc 1-3, diff eq, lin alg and 2 semesters of mathematical methods in physics. I'll just sign up for modern physics b/c your explanation makes sense and it was what I was thinking.
  6. Jul 30, 2013 #5
    Sure, I'm a bio major about to start senior year. I was just undecided whether I should retake calc physics 1 or modern physics should I decide to enter an engineering program in the future. I'll have taken all of the other "core" math/science courses by the time I finish.
  7. Jul 30, 2013 #6
    Right on. If there's no pre-req conflicts go for modern physics. With that math under your belt you'll do okay. Remember though that engineering programs have a lot of intro engineering classes that are required to move along. Best thing to do is talk to an engineering advisor and explain to them your situation. But before you go into the office read up on the program's curriculum and requirements to graduate so the advisor serves as a confirmation to your research on the school's EE program.
  8. Jul 31, 2013 #7
    In that case, have you considered a Biomedical Engineering route? Depending on what path you take you may get a very good educational combination of EE ME and Bio.

    I dont know about all programs, but for my engineering curriculum I did not need modern physics. These were my basic courses before my major (AE) started to become distinct:
    Calc I II II
    Phy I II (calc based)
    Chem I II
    Materials Science
    Mechanics of Materials (aka strength of materials)

    And most importantly, call the EE department head if this is what you want to pursue
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  9. Jul 31, 2013 #8
    The general consensus from those I've spoken to is that biomed is too broad and that its better, at the undergrad level at least, to focus on a core engineering branch and then apply those skills to the biomed side if interested.
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