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Physics Would switching to Applied Physics be a good idea?

  1. Mar 21, 2012 #1
    Hello physics forums! Looking for some informed input on this subject as many of you are involved in job searches (or maybe you do the hiring) or have been involved and have a better idea of what goes on out there in the real world then I do.

    Right now I have a junior Physics major, and my emphasis is in Liberal Arts. My degree will still read B.S, and it is still a traditional physics degree. What got me into the field in the first place is my lifelong interest in astronomy and aerospace related topics, but the more I get into my degree I also find other interests in the field also, so I am not specific on following that path necessarily.

    I am a bit worried however, That I won't be able to get into graduate school. I study hard, I have a good reputation among my professors (no problems getting letters of recommendation) but I still only have a 3.0 GPA. I have been working very hard to get that up, but I still think I will have problems when I start applying next fall. So I figure I may be left with working for a year or two then going, which makes me think an applied physics degree would be better. I'd still graduate next year, but I would take more lab courses (electronics,labview,optics) opposed to upper level Quantum Mechanics and Thermodynamics. Would this increase my chances of finding a job when I graduate? I feel like I need more hands on skills. Any thoughts,ideas,or suggestions? Thanks for reading!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I don't think taking the other courses mentioned will help much. CompSci courses might broaden your job skills. I would think QM would also be important especially if you plan to go to grad school sometime. The fact of having CompSci and higher level math makes you more attractive to financial institutions as well as commercial labs or even some smaller programming shops.
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