Should my second major to physics be programming or math?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

I’m planning on attending graduate school for physics. My interest is currently in cosmology and astrophysics, but I’m keeping an open mind. I’d like to be prepared in case I choose another field, or go into private sector instead of academia.

I’ve decided I want to double major in my undergrad, and I’m torn between what to take with physics: computer programming, or applied math.

Which one would benefit me the most?
Any general insight into this topic is appreciated.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Both subjects are very important for physics. Whichever field you go to, you will need programming, while you will need applied maths to understand physics. I have heard some professors saying that programming is not very essential, but I would like to contradict them. For example, I cannot even think of doing astronomical calculations without Matlab or any such alternative. I feel both subjects are equally important.

Is it possible to get the syllabus for the programming subject?

If I were you, I would have taken one subject with physics, and learnt the other by myself. In my case, I would have taken a second major in maths, because I feel comfortable learning programming at home (in fact, I have learnt Matlab, java, html, etc. mostly by myself), and not so comfortable in maths.

What you should take solely depends on your comfort level in the subjects. If you feel you can handle maths on your own and not programming, then you take programming as your second major, and vice-versa.

That's what I had to say. Senior members might give better advice. :smile:
 

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