Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Skipping grades to go to university?

  1. Feb 5, 2010 #1
    Well, I live in Quebec and for those who do not know the system I will provide you a little description:
    In Quebec, we graduate with an equivalency of an 11th grade. After 11th grade, you must earn a CEGEP degree (2 years is the usual length) which is kind of the equivalent of a postgraduate degree, before pursuing to undergraduate. Now there are alternatives to that, but it is unnecessary to explain, for my question.

    Leading on, Ottawa's university offers a chance for people in Quebec to go from their 11th grade to undergraduate. You must have an average of 85% in a variety of classes that relate to the course you are applying. Then again, they state that you may not be accepted even with those requirements. Although this seems quite interesting, especially since I have an average of 92% in most classes or higher, I wonder if this is a good idea. They ask us, for people applying in physics, to take an additional class for an introduction to calculus and vectors. Even if I can study during summer as well, I do not know if it is realistic to do the course.

    What are your thoughts? Is this a good opportunity or it is going to be way too much work? This is going to be the program:
    MAT1320 Calculus I
    MAT1322 Calculus II
    MAT1341 Introduction to Linear Algebra
    PHY1121 Fundamentals of Physics I
    PHY1122 Fundamentals of Physics II
    MAT2141 Linear Algebra I
    MAT2322 Calculus III for Engineers
    MAT2324 Ordinary Differential Equations and the Laplace Transform
    MAT2384 Ordinary Differential Equations and Numerical Methods
    PHY2311 Waves and Optics
    PHY2323 Electricity and Magnetism
    PHY2333 Mechanics
    PHY2361 Modern Physics
    PHY2904 Travaux pratiques en physique / Practical Physics
    PHY3350 Thermodynamics
    PHY3902 Laboratoire de physique et de physique appliquée I / Physics and Applied Physics Laboratory I
    PHY3320 Electromagnetic Theory
    PHY3341 Theoretical Physics
    PHY3355 Statistical Thermodynamics
    PHY3370 Introductory Quantum Mechanics
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2010 #2
    Could you describe your current schoolwork? Without that it is difficult to say whether or not you'll be ready for the program you posted.

    Assuming the calculus classes cover the same material (and it appears they do) as mine did, you should be fine starting calculus 1 without an introduction to vectors. How well you will do in physics without an intro. to vectors, I'm not sure.

    Nevertheless, I know that I felt like I was wasting time in 12th grade. I knew I was ready for college, but apparently college wasn't ready for me. Personally, I would go directly from 11th grade to undergraduate. Bear in mind, I'm completely ignorant on the Quebec system. Provide some more details, and listen to what others have to say. Hopefully that will allow you to make this decision.
  4. Feb 24, 2010 #3
    The Quebec system, in terms of math and physics, covers up to pre-calculus (536 math), vectors and classical mechanics (physics grade 11). I had no problem jumping right into calculus and mechanics in university with math 436 (I skipped grade 11 and had grade 10 high math, mainly algebra 2 and trig). Unless you are not proficient at figuring problems/concepts out for yourself, you should have no problem.

    Quebec system for math/physics:

    Grade 10: Option of high-math (436) or regular (426). 436 covers trigonometry, algebra and quadratic equations, functions. 426 doesn't cover quadratic equations and barely any functions, simple trig. For physics, one has the option of either 426 or 416, where 426 has a substantial amount of homework and covers more topics (Optics, mechanics, and some labs).

    Grade 11: 536 (High math) or 526. 536 is essentially everything you would find in a pre-calculus book, including some stats (standard deviation and z-score), aswell as advanced trig, and functions. The physics class is mainly classical mechanics, forces, work, and optics.

    CEGEP: (2 years gone to waste, pre-university, equivalent of grade 12)

    Cal 1, cal 2, linears algebra. Optional: Cal 3, discrete math, mathematical statistics.

    Mechanics, Electricity and magnetism, Wave motion and modern physics (All of these have labs). Option: Astrophysics, experimental physics.

    Typically, one does not have to retake all these courses in university, as they are credited.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  5. Feb 24, 2010 #4
    Well work wise, it seems no different from any undergraduate US degree (without the stupid general education requirements). Is your question will you be able to handle it? It seems as though high school is rigorous enough that you will be able to handle it no problem, especially with a 92% average. However, if you are not sure, I recommend going the CEGEP route, as the time there won't be wasted because the courses are credited, and you can explore what you enjoy at the same time.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook