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Courses Undergrad Classes

  1. Apr 18, 2016 #1
    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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  3. Apr 18, 2016 #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?
  4. Apr 18, 2016 #3


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    In order to understand physics, you must understand math. The more math you understand, the better off you will be.
  5. Apr 18, 2016 #4
    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.
  6. Apr 18, 2016 #5


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    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.
  7. Apr 18, 2016 #6
    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."
  8. Apr 18, 2016 #7
    I would imagine that programming coursework would make a very useful adjunct to your physics degree and could be helpful otherwise too.
  9. Apr 19, 2016 #8


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    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.
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