Is a Math minor a big plus in application?

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Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:11 am

Is a Math minor a big plus in application?

Post by ybdong » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:15 am

I'm a junior physics major at a big state school top 20 in physics. Since I transferred and changed major on the way, my course schedule is quite tight. I can take some advanced/graduate physics courses (which will get me an "Honors" physics degree), or take some math courses which can get me a math minor, but can't do both. For the good of phd application, which one should I choose? (Following my heart I would choose the former. I'm asking because I see lots of people with math co-major/minor in applicant profiles.)

Some information that might be relevant to this decision:
-My research field is condensed matter/AMO experiment, and plan to apply for this
-My GPA (both overall and major) is ~3.9

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Re: Is a Math minor a big plus in application?

Post by geekusprimus » Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:57 pm

Nope. At most schools, a math minor is like one or two extra courses beyond what the typical physics degree requires, so it's a relatively minor accomplishment. Most programs make you take a math methods course your first year, too, which will go well beyond the requirements of a typical math minor. Given the choice between taking some grad-level courses and rounding out a math minor, I would definitely take the graduate courses, especially because you're interested in experimental research.

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Re: Is a Math minor a big plus in application?

Post by IaMkizzz » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:15 pm

Math major is not a plus even.

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Re: Is a Math minor a big plus in application?

Post by zephyr » Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:17 pm

Doing well in grad physics classes is def better from an admissions perspective. That said, I found taking certain math classes like abstract algebra and analysis useful even for physics

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