1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What degree should I get?

Tags:
  1. Sep 9, 2015 #1
    Look money doesn't matter. It's non existent in my eyes. I'm not afraid of not getting a job. So let's not even bother speaking of. My real question is what degree should I go for? Ok look, this is how I see science; biology, chemistry, physics, and math will allow me to understand and explain the world. And I guess that's what I want to do. I want to biologically, chemically, and physically explain this world through math. I want to disprove and prove every single thing I can and make a contribution to humanity. Change the way we think, live, move, anything. I feel as if the only way to even begin to explain what is happening I need a heavy understanding of all of the last 4 areas of study I mentioned - and that... Leaves me with oh so many questions it's not even funny. The biggest one is what am I supposed to do? Well nothing is the correct answer but I need a better one. What do you think?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2015 #2
    Btw theoretical physics is what really interests me. But at the same time as I wish to work for nasa or something where I apply physics to the cosmos, I wish to be able to fully understand classic mechanics (which I'm positive I need to know) as well as anything and everything to do with life on a molecular level (physics and chemistry).
     
  4. Sep 10, 2015 #3

    e.bar.goum

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I don't know what country you're in, but in most places, the first year of a degree can be quite general. So apply for a BS/BSc, do some chemistry/physics/biology/mathematics in your first year, and figure out (a) what interests you most and (b) where your competencies lie.
     
  5. Sep 10, 2015 #4

    symbolipoint

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science. Undergraduate degree for any or all of them (triple-major or fewer, bachelors degree). You must find a focus as you go, or you will study aimlessly and accomplish too little. Adjust your decisions year by year.
     
  6. Sep 10, 2015 #5
    by the end of secondary school you've been exposed to all three and you're maybe able to see which of the three are you best at and which you like the most (beyond the question of what to do with it).
    Which country are you from? If you're from the US, the first year should be quite flexible if you still haven't set your mind on a target, but do so at some point, you can't do everything.

    Taking hard science courses in the first year of college will also test the level of your committment.
     
  7. Sep 13, 2015 #6
    If I took mathematics throughout and then did applied math in physics would I be able to take over everything from mathematics and just associate and connect physics chemistry and biology through math? And at that point I would be able to do anything and everything in physics(theoretical physics), chemistry, and bio? is this correct? Or should I do theoretical physics to better be able to associate math with chem and bio then break things down and learn through that? Excuse me if its hard to decode my writing, my brain is a weird one.
     
  8. Sep 13, 2015 #7

    symbolipoint

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Nobody knows. You need to pick a track and work hard, and from time to time, change direction a little or more, according to you interests and goals.

    Physics and Engineering are very mathematical. You will have more than plenty of ways to use Mathematics in all parts of them.
     
  9. Sep 13, 2015 #8

    Choppy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Sounds like you've never really gone without. It's fine to say that you're not interested in earning a large paycheque, but you have to feed yourself before you solve the great mysteries of the universe.

    It's great that you want to do all of this and make important contributions to the world. But it's also important to realize that usually the way to make an important contribution is to focus on one problem (or a few related problems) at a time.

    Figuring out which direction to choose can be tough, particularly when you have a lot of interests. I think the first big point that can help to figure this out is to realize that there is no "correct" answer, which I think you have. The direction you go is a choice that you make and the choice is something that will define you.

    As others have mentioned, you might want to start out by choosing a general science program. It's quite common that most majors will require you to take other sciences in your first year anyway.

    Something else that can help is to get a little more specific. What specific questions are you interested in working on? What do you mean by explaining the world through math? A lot of biological, chemical, and physical processes are already described quite well. But what problems are outstanding that you've spent some time reading about?
     
  10. Sep 14, 2015 #9
    I was honestly thinking about doing mathematics. I feel as if it all starts there then you can build upon it. Math is the foundation after all right? The codes in math are interesting. Not because the code itself but because practical applications. I believe that if one was to focus on math then the rest would follow because it would most likely align in a code.

    Honestly the most interesting things to me are theoretical physics though. theoretical physics are interesting to me for two main reasons. Every single problem/question in theoretical physics is amazing and makes me wonder what these people are thinking of, I then realize what my extremely messed up mind thinks of is the same. The second reason is because I believe if you have theoretical physics you can theoretically make anything you ever could think of using principal and math. Meaning that if you know the physics you can figure the chemistry of this theoretical subject you are thinking of, and then in turn engineer the results to real life.

    But who knows I don't know a thing or something I'm not sure. or something like that...
     
  11. Sep 14, 2015 #10
    This can get you pretty far, but you literally cannot derive everything from mathematical principles (the universe is physical not mathematical after all); you'll find lots of physical laws are only experimentally verified and were then theoretically generalized later. Also, there really isn't a general theoretical physics; each field is what ever it is and there are theoretical components to it; so there's theoretical astrophysics, theoretical plasma physics, theoretical condensed matter physics, theoretical nuclear physics, theoretical biophysics, and so on. Most physicists specialize in one type of field and do theory or experiment in that; unless of course you're Freeman Dyson who basically did theoretical projects for a little of everything, lol (literally nuclear engineering, biology, quantum electrodynamics, etc). Some degree combination of physics and applied math in undergrad is probably a general enough to be what someone of your interests would be after. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  12. Sep 14, 2015 #11
    Thanks man good stuff
     
  13. Sep 14, 2015 #12

    btw, I'm "middle class". I don't have a spoon in my mouth nor am I in poverty. I have seen both the perspectives and I do say this about money not being real because it's not. You want a lot of money? It's quite simple there are a lot of ways to go about making money. But the first important step towards money is recognizing it's not real but the human psych is. I am very good at making money therefore I do not care about money. You should do the same. The only difference between me and a billionaire is he has stacks of cash I have stacks of books. 2 different investments equally as powerful, and when you look at it this way your worries will seemingly disappear and you will realize (not saying you haven't) that life is just a ride and we should focus all our efforts in moving forward as a society instead of becoming stagnant and destroying the world. But who am I kidding? The land of the rich and home to the slave.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2015
  14. Sep 14, 2015 #13
    Btw, thank you for your reply it clarified a lot
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook