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Would like some advice on class schedule next semester (Chem vs CS)

  1. Dec 9, 2013 #1
    I am a community college student with one semester worth of classes away from transferring to a 4-year university as a Physics major. Currently, I'm enrolled in all the classes I need for transfer:

    Differential Equations - 5 units
    General Physics (Modern Physics) last of a 4 class series - 5 units
    Plant Biology - 4 units

    I'm wondering if I should just focus on what I have and do well, or if I should take an additional class, either a 5 unit Chem 102 class or a 4 unit CS C++ Programming class or something else, or maybe research. I've already taken a Chem 101 and CS Fundamentals class, so I already have some exposure to those subjects.

    Ever since I screwed up my first year in college, I've always been cautious about my workload, never taking more than 15 units a semester, but I have developed good habits and managed to get all A's except one B in my math and science classes. On the other hand, I just got back from a military deployment, so by the time I start class next semester, I would have a 1.5 year gap of not having taken any courses (other than an online Critical Thinking course), although during this time I did do a bit of reviewing and reading ahead. I'm just wondering what would be best considering my situation.

    Thanks, and I greatly appreciate your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2013 #2


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    Drop plant bio and do do molecular/cell bio, what previous programming language did you learn? Dependent on that I would most likely suggest Chem.
  4. Dec 10, 2013 #3
    Differential Equations and a class on modern physics seems like that would be quite a work load in and of itself, when added with biology. What is your major? It might help to know what you intend to do as it could help determine how relevant the choice is.
  5. Dec 10, 2013 #4
    I learned C++, which covered if/else statements, loops, arrays, vectors, strings, functions, and file streaming.
    The second C++ class is a continuation of the above, and basically uses the 2nd half of the same textbook. Speaking of which, I could probably learn on my own given enough time. So Chem probably would be the better class to take.

    I'm wondering why the preference of molecular/cell bio over plant bio? Is it because molecular bio is more useful?

    That's true. Maybe what I'll do is attempt the extra class to see how I handle it, and then drop it if it's too much. My major is Physics, but I haven't really decided on a specialization. I'm hoping I can get a better idea of what I want to get into when I get to upper division, but I am considering Accelerator Physics from reading the boards here.

    Thanks again.
  6. Dec 10, 2013 #5


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    It's more useful if you end up doing anything biophysics related, and is just generally a more interesting and rigorous class. Since you've been exposed to OOP I'd say Chem is a more appropriate class to take.

    DE and QM both were pretty easy classes that I remember, so you can try taking them and droppIing if the course load is to great.
  7. Dec 10, 2013 #6
    I wouldn't worry too much about C++. Take chem.

    C++ is not a standard language in the physics community. In fact, the standard language completely changes based on your research interests. In undergrad you should only expect a primer in coding that prepares you to learn a new language as needed. From now on, just play with C++ on your own time.

    You may also enjoy working with Mathematica.
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