What are the requirements to study theoretical physics?

In summary, if you are a high school student from Lebanon and want to study theoretical physics in the US or Switzerland, you will need to have studied mathematics and physics as essential subjects. The specific requirements may vary depending on the university, so it is best to contact them directly. Generally, they will consider your final grades in high school as the deciding factor for acceptance into the program. However, it is important to check with the university to see their specific entry requirements.
  • #1
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I am a high school student (still in grade 11) I want to study theoretical physics in USA or Switzerland but I am from the middle east (Lebanon) and I want to know what I need to be accept in theoretical physics what subjects I need and please tell me the grade for each subject I need example : math 15/20 physics 16/20 ... (tell me this for all the subject they need to see ) .
One more question when they will look to the my grades in each subject , they will only look on the grades of the last year of high school (grade 12) or they need to see it for all the years of high school (grade 9-10-11-12) ?
 
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  • #2
What you need to know

Generally, universities in the US and Europe will consider your native qualification and I think that for a Lebanese person these are either the Lebanon baccalaureate (Shahaadat Al-Bakaalouriya al Lubnaaniya l’il-ta ‘liim al-Thaanawi) or the Technical Baccalaureate (Al-Bakaalouriya al-Finniya).

You will need to have studied both mathematics and physics as absolute essentials. I am from the UK so I am not entirely sure about the US. My understanding is that to study in the US you won't need to have studied as in depth as to study in a country like Switzerland or in the UK.

Look at the following UK textbooks (in my opinion they are the best indication of the essential skills you need to know in mathematics and physics before going for a degree in theoretical physics):

C1, C2, C3, C4, M1, AQA AS and A2 Physics.

These are the minimum requirements for a UK student wanting to study Theoretical Physics. If you have studied the vast majority of the content of these books in your studies in Lebanon then you are ready.

Your grade

This will vary from university to university, and you will need to contact them directly to see their entry requirements, as they are unlikely to have a direct entry requirement for study in Lebanon.
 
  • #3
Olly_price said:
What you need to know

Generally, universities in the US and Europe will consider your native qualification and I think that for a Lebanese person these are either the Lebanon baccalaureate (Shahaadat Al-Bakaalouriya al Lubnaaniya l’il-ta ‘liim al-Thaanawi) or the Technical Baccalaureate (Al-Bakaalouriya al-Finniya).

You will need to have studied both mathematics and physics as absolute essentials. I am from the UK so I am not entirely sure about the US. My understanding is that to study in the US you won't need to have studied as in depth as to study in a country like Switzerland or in the UK.

Look at the following UK textbooks (in my opinion they are the best indication of the essential skills you need to know in mathematics and physics before going for a degree in theoretical physics):

C1, C2, C3, C4, M1, AQA AS and A2 Physics.

These are the minimum requirements for a UK student wanting to study Theoretical Physics. If you have studied the vast majority of the content of these books in your studies in Lebanon then you are ready.

Your grade

This will vary from university to university, and you will need to contact them directly to see their entry requirements, as they are unlikely to have a direct entry requirement for study in Lebanon.
When going to that university do they need the scores for all high school grade ? From 9 to 12 or they will only take the 2 official ones grade 9 and grade 12 ?
 
  • #4
In reply to your above comment on my post:

Again, it depends on the university and country - I am not sure about the US. Presumably they will only care about your final few years, because these are the exam periods that generally decide whether or not you would be able to handle the degree course.

If you have good final year scores and bad scores from when you were younger then it shouldn't matter. For example, if you got straight A grades at A Level in the UK but had all C grades at GCSE, they would not usually care about the bad GCSE grades.

But again, you need to get in contact with the university. Just go on the university page and send in an email to ask.
 

1. What is the educational background required to study theoretical physics?

To study theoretical physics, one typically needs a strong foundation in mathematics, including advanced calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations. A background in physics, particularly in mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics, is also essential. Additionally, having a strong grasp of computer programming and problem-solving skills can be beneficial.

2. Do I need to have a specific degree to study theoretical physics?

While a degree in physics or a related field is typically preferred, it is not always required. Some universities may accept students with degrees in mathematics, engineering, or computer science, as long as they have taken the necessary physics and math courses. However, having a degree in physics can provide a solid foundation and make it easier to transition into theoretical physics.

3. Are there any specific skills or qualities needed to excel in theoretical physics?

In addition to a strong background in math and physics, theoretical physicists need to have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. They also need to be able to think abstractly and have a deep curiosity and passion for understanding the fundamental laws of the universe. Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are also important for presenting and discussing complex theories and research.

4. Are there any specific research opportunities or internships available for studying theoretical physics?

Yes, many universities and research institutions offer research opportunities and internships specifically for theoretical physics students. These can provide valuable hands-on experience and help students develop their research skills. Additionally, many theoretical physicists collaborate with other scientists and participate in conferences and workshops to share and discuss their research.

5. Is there a specific career path for those studying theoretical physics?

There is no set career path for those studying theoretical physics, as it can lead to a variety of careers in academia, research, or industry. Some theoretical physicists go on to become professors, while others work in research and development for government agencies, private companies, or national laboratories. Others may use their skills in data analysis and problem-solving to pursue careers in finance, technology, or data science.

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