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Starting physics major in sophomore year

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  • Thread starter mavisbeacon
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  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Here's some background to the story: Throughout HS, I always thought physics and math was my forte, and went to several international competitions in both subjects. But as I started college in the US, I fell in love with art history and over freshman year thought that I should major in the subject.

But during the summer, and as I start sophomore year, I am slowly realizing how much I miss physics, and that art history might have easily been an infatuation that is now fading away (something along the lines of I've been doing physics all my life, I want to try something new). It's not that I didn't do well in the art history classes I have been taking, but the more humanities classes I take, the more I realize that this is something I like doing for fun as a hobby, rather than something I'd like to do for the rest of my life.

But if I switch back to physics, I'll barely get the basic major by the time I graduate (intro physics sophomore year, the meat during junior, and capstone stuff senior year). I also doubt that I'll be able to start doing research with a professor until junior year.

I wonder how much this one-year disadvantage will set me back, in terms of applying for graduate school in physics? Do you know of people who decided to switch to physics halfway through college and still made it to grad school?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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It's interesting how in all of these threads, people ask "is it too late?", etc. You can study on your own, you know. It isn't your universities' or professor's responsibility to make sure you learn.

Yes, it's entirely within the realm of possibility for you to major in physics.
 
  • #3
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I wonder how much this one-year disadvantage will set me back, in terms of applying for graduate school in physics? Do you know of people who decided to switch to physics halfway through college and still made it to grad school?
It's not going to matter much. There are universities in which people don't choose their major until sophomore year.
 
  • #4
491
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You could always take summer classes, or load up an extra class every semester. It'll be more work but it's definitely manageable.
 
  • #5
You could also come to the realization that you're not REQUIRED to graduate in 4 years. Unless, of course, money is a major concern. Then staying another year might not be the best idea.
 

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