Switching majors from Nuclear Engineering to Physics

In summary, the speaker is planning to switch from Nuclear Engineering to Physics in order to pursue a career in Physics. They are currently not planning on taking any Optics classes, but are wondering if this is a mistake and if they should take any before starting grad school. The speaker is advised that while most places don't expect extensive knowledge of Optics, it may be useful to take some courses in Modern Optics as it is relevant to various fields in Physics. The speaker thanks the person for their advice and will consider taking Modern Optics.
  • #1
Monocles
466
2
I'm going to be switching majors from Nuclear Engineering to Physics soon, because I think I really am a Physics guy at heart, but I planned on doing grad school anyways so I could switch over to Nuclear Engineering there if I really wanted to (I've heard that the reverse is harder). Right now I'm looking at my schedule, and there are no Optics classes required, and I'm currently not planning on taking any. Is this a mistake? If I study Physics in grad school will they expect that I have knowledge of Optics? My main reason for wondering this is that there are 6 undergrad Optics classes offered, just none are required.

If so, which Optics classes should I take? The ones offered are:

Geometrical Optics
Geometrical Optics Lab
Modern Optics
Modern Optics Lab
Optical Design
Laser Theory & Application
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
I don't think most places expect more optics than you get in your introductory (freshman and sophmore level) courses. That being said there are certain concepts in optics that you'll see in other forms in QM. The reinforcement never hurts. That stuff is all in the modern optics courses (I would guess modern is code for anything discovered after Fresnel). If you're not sure what you'll do graduate work in it is worth noting that there are optical experimental techniques used in atomic and molecular physics, plasma physics and condensed matter physics, so having some of these courses under your belt can save you having to take the courses when you're actually in grad school and trying to get a bunch of other requirements out of the way.
 
  • #3
Ah, OK, I didn't know about what sorts of applications Optics even had. I'll consider taking Modern Optics in that case. Thanks :)
 

Related to Switching majors from Nuclear Engineering to Physics

1. Why did you decide to switch from Nuclear Engineering to Physics?

I realized that my interests lie more in the theoretical and experimental aspects of physics rather than the practical applications of nuclear engineering. I also found that I had a strong passion for subjects such as quantum mechanics and astrophysics, which are more closely related to a physics major.

2. How will switching majors affect your career prospects?

Switching majors may open up different career opportunities for me, as a physics degree can lead to a wider range of fields such as research, education, and even finance. However, I believe that the skills and knowledge I gained from my previous major will still be applicable and valuable in my future career.

3. Are there any similarities between Nuclear Engineering and Physics?

There are certainly some similarities between the two fields, as both involve the study of matter and energy. However, nuclear engineering focuses more on the practical applications of nuclear energy, while physics delves deeper into the fundamental laws and theories governing the behavior of matter and energy.

4. How will you catch up on the coursework you missed by switching majors?

I have taken the necessary steps to ensure that I will be able to catch up on any missed coursework. I have already met with my academic advisor to create a plan for completing the remaining courses for my new major, and I am also taking advantage of resources such as tutoring and study groups to help me stay on track.

5. Do you regret your decision to switch majors?

No, I do not regret my decision at all. Although it was a difficult choice to make, I am confident that switching to physics was the right decision for me and my academic and career goals. I am excited to explore new areas of study and continue to challenge myself in my new major.

Similar threads

Replies
7
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
3
Views
1K
Replies
3
Views
932
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
3
Views
838
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
2
Views
957
Replies
4
Views
249
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
11
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
11
Views
2K
Back
Top