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Courses Will these courses prepare me for grad school?

  1. Jul 20, 2010 #1
    Hello everyone! My school has a rather odd math major - it just so happens to perfectly suit me. I studied engineering for the first 2 years of school, as well as a little bit of CS, and all my classes fit perfectly in this major "Mathematics - Engineering/physics track." I should be able to graduate in four years with this major, which is a big bonus. Besides that, I was planning on either doing a basic applied math major or physics major, but both of these take 5 years total since I have been doing engineering.

    Here's what I'll have taken in my engineering/physics math major:
    Calc Sequence + diffeq
    Physics I-III
    Prob & stats for engineers
    Intro to discrete structures
    Computer Science I

    Math Classes:
    Mathematical Modeling
    Vector & Tensor Analysis
    Appl of Complex Variables
    Applied Boundary Value Problems I and II
    Advanced Calculus I
    Linear Algebra
    Numerical Calculus

    Physics/Engi Classes:
    Electricity & Magnetism I, II
    Physics Mechanics
    Thermal & Statistical Physics
    Wave Mechanics I, II
    Engineering Mechanics - Statics + Dynamics
    Solid Mechanics

    So that's it. The reason I'm taking this major is because I really don't know what I want to do for grad school, but I'm hoping a URE should clear things up by senior year. If I were to dislike my physics classes, I could switch to all upper level mechanical engineering classes instead, but I doubt I would do that.

    The question is, are these classes enough to get me into physics/engineering/math/other science grad school? What if I wanted to go into mathematical economics? Earth sciences? Astronomy? Would my wide background be looked upon favorably or unfavorably? Could I make up for some of the classes I was missing as prerequisites while in grad school?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2010 #2
    I'd like some feedback on this if possible
  4. Jul 23, 2010 #3
    I can only comment on how well that would prepare you for a pure mathematics Ph.D program.

    The answer is that it would not prepare you well at all. You would need at least two semesters of algebra, two semesters of topology, another semester of analysis, and then some special topics for me to consider it decent preparation for a pure mathematics Ph.D. program. For it to be good, replace everything I just said with the first-year graduate versions and add in representation theory, algebraic number theory, and some algebraic geometry, all at the graduate level.

    *However*, that looks nice for a significantly more applied program than pure mathematics. Again, I can't comment much on that aspect.
  5. Jul 23, 2010 #4
    Which of the physics/engineering courses have been labs? Lab classes are an important part of the physics curriculum. If you want to pursue either physics or astronomy, you should take at least one class on quantum mechanics before graduate school.

    And have you had any research experience?
  6. Jul 23, 2010 #5


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    It seems very odd that there is no quantum in there.
  7. Jul 24, 2010 #6
    Where do you go to school? I swear we must go to the same school because everything you describe is the same as where I go (major, course names). :P
  8. Jul 25, 2010 #7
    I go to UCF. I believe Wave Mechanics is supposed to be my quantum class. I can take some physics labs for electives if it's really imperative. Honestly, I'm just thinking of getting a double major even though it will set me back another year. Any opinions?

    Edit: I'm doing my research in nonlinear dynamics and chaos
  9. Jul 25, 2010 #8
    Well, I go to UCF too actually. I'm a junior Physics B.S. major with astronomy in mind. Well to answer your question I think it's a good bet that it will be good enough for grad school in Physics, mathematics, mathematical physics... it's a pretty well rounded major. Not only that, if you get well enough grades, get good research in, and overall learn a lot, you have a chance at any related graduate school option really. Physics majors who say study optics, like at our school, are capable to get a advanced degree in optical engineering. Really undergraduate courses are serving the purpose of enhancing your problem solving skills enough so that you can really specialize in the graduate level. Anywho, I guess I'll see you in some classes, haha.
  10. Jul 26, 2010 #9
    Didn't zpconn just say he wouldn't take him as a graduate student for mathematics?
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