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Should I bother with non-calculus based physics classes?

  1. Sep 8, 2010 #1
    I'm taking calculus one right now in community college. I plan to major in physics but the first calculus based physics class requires calculus two, so the only physics i can take until next year would be general physics that doesn't require calculus. I'm not sure what major the class is aimed at. It might be for architecture majors or someone who doesn't plan to even major in physics. does anyone think that i should not even bother taking it because its not calculus based?

    Also, do you need programming for a physics major?

    And do you think it is possible to double major in physics and philosophy or is there too much math to have philosophy classes along with physics and math classes?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2010 #2
    I would take it. I imagine the concepts are the same. The only difference is you're using calculus instead of solely algebra/trig. I could be wrong of course and someone please correct me if so.

    I took physics 1 over summer and I'm taking physics 2 right now. I'm hoping it will make calc-physics 1 that much easier when I take it this spring.

    Also, I think it will help with developing problem-solving skills.
  4. Sep 8, 2010 #3


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    I think if you didn't take high school physics, or if you took it but didn't do well in it, it would be good to take it.

    But you should ask the instructor, really. He/she would be the best judge if it would be worth your while or a waste of your time.
  5. Sep 9, 2010 #4


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    I would highly recommend ANYONE who took maths or physics degrees to take a programming course and keep up with it. I should have taken a programming course as well as a generic numerical methods couse as they would have been so useful to what I am doing now and in my time in industry.
  6. Sep 9, 2010 #5


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    Presumably, you'll be transferring to a physics-degree-granting institution to get your degree. If so, then you need to be careful in investigating if that institution will accept a non-calculus base intro physics for a transfer towards a physics degree. Most physics programs require a calculus-based intro physics courses, so there's a good chance that your non-calc physics course might not count towards your degree.

    If you're taking such a class simply to get a better foundation in physics, that's fine. But you should consider the possibility that you might have to take another intro physics class later for it to count.

  7. Sep 9, 2010 #6


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    I would avoid philosophy all together. I have seen some reasoning from philosophers and I have not been impressed. If you're want to do a double major then make it maths and physics.
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