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Schools Rutgers University of NJ

  1. Aug 15, 2005 #1
    Hi everyone, I'm just beginning my undergraduate studies at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. I was wondering if any of you knew much about it, or if they have good physics/mathematics programs. I went to a local community college for two years, did General Physics 1 and 2 (Newtonian and basic Electromagnetism), and finished Calc3 and DiffEq and finished up all my garbage English and "humanities" courses. Any recommendations on what courses to take next?

    Also, I'm a physics major for at least the first semester, but I definitely plan on double majoring in some kind of math and minoring in a language (Italian 4tw). I was hoping some of you could give me some useful links for finding internships or any jobs involved in the field(s).

    thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2005 #2
    recommendations on what classes you should take next semester are what advisors are for. Talk to your advisor. Nobody on this board knows what classes are offered at your school and the sequence classes are taken at your school.

    As for internships, talk to the career services office at the university, and talk to different professor on campus. If you are studying physics and plan on devoting your life to research, you want to look for "REUs" (research experience for undergraduates) for the summers. That should help you find what you're looking for on google or something.

    And also, you're going to dual major in physics and math, and minor in a foreign language class? Man, you must REALLY like undergrad school, because although there is quite a bit of overlap between physics and math, there's no overlap between those two and foreign language. You'll be going to school for 4.5 years at leas for the double major in physics and math, and another semester at least for the foreign lang requirements...5 years in ugrad school is quite a bit, and you'll want to get to grad school as soon as possible. I would say double major in physics/math and study the foreign lang on your own time.
  4. Aug 15, 2005 #3

    yeah, the double major will probably come down to three more fairly difficult years. of course, if you have the funding (or willingness to go in debt) and desire to take the courses, then it's worth it!
  5. Aug 15, 2005 #4
    I wouldn't way it would come down to THREE more years, to complete the second major in math, sicne there is a lot of overlap between physics and math. YOu could probably do the double major in about 5 years total, maybe 4.5 years if you go in the summer. However, the minor will tack on about a year or so, especially with a foreign mang class where there isn't any overlap besides humanities electives in the physics and math curicula.

    In the end, I would advise you to work on only the double major, and study the foreign language stuff on your own. Save some money and some time.
  6. Aug 15, 2005 #5


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    I attended RU, but not in math or physics, so can't help you much there (I lived with one math major and we had a physics major down the hall in the dorm, but she was a bit weird).

    Which college are you attending? I know they're making some big changes to the college structure (and I'm actively involved with alumni fighting it). If you're at Rutgers College, at least they used to require a major, a minor and a mini, and each of those had to be in a different area, which would make it really difficult to double major in math and physics. If you're at one of the other colleges, you can probably do it.

    But, you need to see a department advisor anyway when you select courses, so they'll tell you what the current requirements are.

    One thing to be aware of there, they have an EXCELLENT math and science learning center on campus. There have always been two locations, one on the Bush Campus and one on the Douglass Campus. They'll have a lot of resources there, including old exams to study from, TAs available for office hours, workshops on study tips, etc. Also, on the Douglass Campus, the Douglass Project for Women in Math, Science and Engineering runs study groups in the introductory math and science courses. Even though they are held at a dorm on the Douglass Campus, they are open to any student, not just women (I don't know if you're male or female). They are led by grad students (I used to run one for biology when I was there, and the students in my study group were among the top students in the course...they didn't all start out that way before realizing the group was available to join). So, there are a lot of resources there for you, use them to the max!

    Oh, and if you're majoring in physics, you might have to retake the general physics course. The ones at the community college are not as challenging as the course for majors (it would probably suffice if you were going to be a bio major :wink:), so just talk to your advisor about that and be prepared that you might have to or want to retake that one since that sets the fundamentals for your further coursework. If you can get out of expository writing with your community college courses, then by all means, do so (if you can't get out of it, there's also a writing center if you need help in that area...or even if you have more advanced courses and need someone to proofread for grammar or style).

    Have a blast, and watch out for the RU Screw! :wink: :rofl:
  7. Aug 16, 2005 #6
    thanks for the info, I'm completely clueless as to how these things work. I wasn't aware grad school is so important, and I should shoot for there as quickly as possible. The foreign language on my own time thing sounds like a good idea, I didn't realize it would take so much extra time and money. Is it better to double up physics and some kind of math? well, I mean, it's obviously better in that you learn more, but is it really that much more useful in the real world?

    I keep hearing about this, and I don't fully understand what people are talking about. I guess I haven't had the misfortune of getting the alleged screw.

    I'm a guy, I'm enrolled at University College for now (plan on transferring), and I'm living on Cook/Douglass. Thanks for the tip about the learning center-mabob, I'll be sure and check it out. I also stumbled upon the RUSPS (Society of Physics Students) by accident after I first joined these forums, I'm already joining that. I've heard about the changes they're making, read something in the newspaper about it... reducing the 5 campuses to 2 or something along those lines? Why are you fighting it?

    The Analytic Physics courses at the CC were actually pretty decent, the EM course was pretty difficult (if not condensed - 6 week summer course :yuck: ), I just can't wait to finally be able to rip into Relativity and other problems of that nature after reading so much about it for so long. Which leads me to my next question - why are you on the physics and math help forum if you didn't go to school for it?
  8. Aug 17, 2005 #7


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    They're trying to eliminate the Douglass College (my alma mater). The college started up entirely independently of the university when the university wouldn't admit women and has grown to be a part of it, but still maintains a lot of distinct programs and a very different core curriculum from the rest of the university that really has its strengths in developing women's leadership, especially with an emphasis on fields in which women are underrepresented. The founding of Douglass is actually a pretty interesting bit of history. It was founded on $1 donations from members of the Federated Women's Club of NJ as the New Jersey College for Women. If you are familiar with the Corwin houses, those were the first "dorms" for the college. Mabel Smith Douglass, who founded the college, couldn't get a bank loan to build dorms because the bank officials were so convinced that a women's college had no chance of success, but finally persuaded them to make the loan as long as the dorms were built as houses so that they could be sold as residential housing if the college failed and defaulted on the loan.

    Oh, another funny and strange part of the history...much of the land that is currently shared by Cook and Douglass was all donated by James Neilson, who used to live in that white mansion out near the Neilson dining hall (if you stand out in front of that and look all around, pretty much everything you can see from there...all that green space where the disc golf course and bike paths are out to the puddle, were his property). Apparently he was quite a lech, and his reasoning for making the donation of the land was that he always enjoyed the "company" of the Douglass women.

    But, beyond that, the entire reason I chose to attend Rutgers was that it had the small college structure within the large university so even though you were at a huge university, you didn't end up being a faceless number in the crowd. While I was there, I actually knew all of the deans for the college and they all knew me, which really gives a person a sense of belonging. I think that will be lost if they collapse the college structure. Each of the different colleges has different missions too, and they'll lose that diversity for the student body. I know the folks in Rutgers College probably won't even notice the difference with that college being so big, but I've never gotten the impression that the Rutgers College students really ever got the same experience out of RU that I did. They are very much the nameless bodies who have no idea who their deans are or what they do or who to ask when they need help with something.

    If you're in University College and living on Cook, you'll get an appreciation of how important the small college identity is to finding a home within a large university.
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