I am a sophomore physics student with an interest in studying applied physics or engineering in graduate school. I will take as many applied physics courses as I can in undergrad (and CS courses), but was curious as to what opinions most physics grad programs have toward Chemistry courses in undergrad. I have a strong feeling that Chemistry (2 semesters of it) would look great, but it would be hard for me to squeeze them in to my schedule. I know that it will vary by grad school, so I am wondering if anyone has a general rule of thumb when it comes to this?

  • It might depend a bit on what parts of Physics you want to focus on. It is a pretty broad field. Any of your current physics professors could offer advice, of course.
    – Buffy
    Oct 5, 2019 at 9:53
  • Is this in the US?
    – Buffy
    Oct 5, 2019 at 11:24
  • Yes. In the US. Oct 5, 2019 at 11:59
  • It's definitely good to make long term plans and think about what you want to do in the future. But your question strikes me as premature optimizing. As a second year student you should focus on learning rather than what a graduate application committee thinks. Take courses in which you think you'll learn something useful! That'll pay off handsomely on the long run.. Oct 5, 2019 at 13:36
  • In addition, if given a choice grad school admissions actually strongly prefer students who took courses because they were interested in the material rather than trying to optimize their grad school chances. In reality, that's difficult to tell apart but just to illustrate the point: sometimes one can e.g. see that a student's research projects were simply done for the purpose of CV padding. That's a huge red flag and often disqualifying. I guess what I'm trying to say is taking courses you're interested in doesn't actually lower your grad school chances. Go ahead and "follow your heart" ;-) Oct 5, 2019 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


Taking chemistry courses is good, but there is no need to remove physics courses from your schedule to add chemistry courses.

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