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Should I switch my emphasis from Math to AMO (Atomic, Molecular, and Optical) Physics?

  1. Aug 8, 2015 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I am a rising third year physics major/math minor at my university planning to go onto graduate school, and I've been thinking about my changing my emphasis. Our school requires all Physics majors to have an emphasis in either: Mathematical Physics, AMO (Atomic, Molecular, and Optical) Physics, or Biophysics. Currently, my emphasis is in Mathematical Physics, but I just did an REU this summer in a Condensed Soft Matter Physics lab, and I absolutely loved it.

    I value interdisciplinary work, and the more I think about it, the more I feel as if I'm narrowing myself too much with all the math in terms of making it my emphasis and my minor. I really do enjoy learning as much as I can about other subjects such as Chemistry and Biology, but it would be too late for me to switch my emphasis to the Biophysics track, (it would require me to take several upper division Bio classes that would keep me here longer than I would like) which is why I've been taking a long look at AMO.

    Do graduate schools really care about emphasis? Or is it more important to them to see that although it seems you may have a narrow focus (Phys w/Math emphasis + Math minor) that you also took a wide range of upper div courses in your final years? (As in finishing with a Phys w/Math emphasis + Math minor but also taken a bunch of AMO + Biophysics classes)

    Any feedback is appreciated.

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2015 #2
    Cuddle up with an issue of Phys Rev A and see if you really like AMO.
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