Undergrad Classes: Picking Electives for Next Fall

In summary: Instead, find a course that really interests you and takes it seriously. I would also recommend making a list of the courses that you're interested in and finding a teacher or professor who will be able to help you better understand the material.I would recommend avoiding a strategy of taking a course just because you think it will lead to an easy grade. I've seen this backfire too often. Instead, find a course that really interests you and takes it seriously. I would also recommend making a list of the courses that you're interested in and finding a teacher or professor who will be able to help you better understand the material.
  • #1
StrangeCharm
23
12
Next fall I'll be a junior, and I'm wondering what classes besides physics I should take. I'm already on track to taking the necessary physics courses so that I can complete my degree. I'm just wondering what electives I should take. Introduction to computer science? Geology? Creative writing? I don't know what I want to do after I graduate, maybe grad school, though I don't know in which field or anything like that yet. I go to a liberal arts college and can take STEM and humanities classes. Is it okay if I take more humanities classes, or should I stick to STEM? What are your experiences? Any thoughts are appreciated :)
 
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  • #2
You should take a long and hard thought about what will happen when you graduate and when grad school doesn't work out. This is a very realistic situation for anybody. A bachelor degree in physics isn't all that good for employability. You'll need to decide which classes would make you more employable. Programming maybe. Or statistics?
 
  • #3
StrangeCharm said:
Next fall I'll be a junior, and I'm wondering what classes besides physics I should take...

In order to understand physics, you must understand math. The more math you understand, the better off you will be.
 
  • #4
IGU said:
In order to understand physics, you must understand math. The more math you understand, the better off you will be.
Yes, I understand this, and I am taking math courses that are required towards my physics degree. I could take additional classes like real analysis and abstract algebra, but I'm not majoring in math so I don't think it'll be that useful towards my degree or even practical depending on what job I get.
 
  • #5
StrangeCharm said:
Yes, I understand this, and I am taking math courses that are required towards my physics degree...

What's required tends to be the utter minimum. More math is never wasted, at least not if you care about understanding physics. But when choosing electives, it's always important to do things that interest you.
 
  • #6
IGU said:
What's required tends to be the utter minimum. More math is never wasted, at least not if you care about understanding physics. But when choosing electives, it's always important to do things that interest you.
Yes, I've taken calc 1, calc 2, multivariable, linear algebra, and next semester I'll take math methods and statistical mechanics. I'm struggling with doing what's required/expected of me and also trying new things as an undergrad. I love physics but because I'm still young I also want to learn for the sake of learning and take something like journalism or sociology. It just seems like everyone is so focused on grad school, career, and money that I feel compelled to do the same and take "practical" courses that'll supposedly prepare me for "the real world."
 
  • #7
I would imagine that programming coursework would make a very useful adjunct to your physics degree and could be helpful otherwise too.
 
  • #8
Go with what you're interested in. If you're actually interested in taking a journalism or sociology course, I think it's important to give those courses some weight in your decision.

I would recommend avoiding a strategy of taking a course just because you think it will lead to a an easy grade. I've seen this backfire too often.
 

1. What are elective classes?

Elective classes are courses that are not required for your major but allow you to explore other subjects and expand your knowledge and skills. They are usually chosen based on personal interests or to fulfill general education requirements.

2. How do I know which electives to take?

The best way to choose elective classes is to think about your interests and goals. Consider taking courses that align with your career aspirations or that cover topics you have always wanted to learn more about. You can also seek advice from academic advisors or other students who have taken similar electives.

3. Can I take any elective class I want?

While most colleges and universities offer a wide range of elective classes, there may be some restrictions. Some schools may require you to take electives within a certain department or limit the number of credits you can apply towards your degree. It's important to check with your academic advisor to ensure your elective choices meet all necessary requirements.

4. How many electives should I take per semester?

The number of electives you should take per semester depends on your course load and academic goals. Most students take 1-2 elective classes per semester, but it ultimately depends on how many credits you need to graduate and how much time you have to devote to each class.

5. Can I change my elective choices?

Yes, you can usually make changes to your elective choices before the semester begins or during the add/drop period. However, it's important to keep in mind any deadlines or restrictions set by your school. If you are unsure about a course, it's best to speak with your academic advisor before making any changes.

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