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I am a third year undergraduate in a physics program at a US university. I am in quantum and enjoy it, I also enjoyed a quantum chemistry course I took. I am looking to do work quantum computing (hardware most likely) or some kind of soft robotics/material science. I haven't taken much chemistry beyond quantum chemistry and general chemistry. For the area I am looking towards would it make sense to take chemistry courses and if so which? Would it make sense to take an extra year to complete a chemistry degree in addition to the physics one I am pursuing?

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    What is your plan for the future? Is this just for research next year, or for physics phd, or something else? Also, are you referring to theory or experimental work (or some mix)? Nov 28, 2023 at 1:35
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    something along the lines of a PhD or a masters to industry career on more experimental physics like micro fabrication and building the computers themselves.
    – Emilie
    Nov 28, 2023 at 2:02
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    I also suppose I am open to taking advanced math like abstract algebra or complex variables
    – Emilie
    Nov 28, 2023 at 2:06
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    Seems like you are more interested in engineering than chemistry... Nov 28, 2023 at 4:20
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    Please clarify what you mean by "soft robotics/material science.". It seems to me soft robotics and material science. are different fields. You may get different answers for them. Please clarify.
    – Nobody
    Nov 28, 2023 at 9:28

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While it might be good to take an advanced course in chemistry or any other related field, I doubt that it is necessary. Some programs might find it a problem, but most doctoral programs in US are pretty flexible in permitting new students to take courses that will be needed later.

In particular, taking an extra year seems sub-optimal to me. I'd suggest that you make application for doctoral programs when the time comes and see how you do. Don't limit your applications to a narrow range of universities, however. Cast a wide net. And, I suggest doctoral applications, not masters, as the funding is better and the time to completion means more flexibility is possible.

I'd guess that a course based masters would find the question of a single course irrelevant, though. Maybe some issues for a research based masters due to time constraints.

Many (most?) doctoral programs in the US offer the opportunity to pick up a masters along the way. Sometimes just by asking, sometimes with a bit of extra work.

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  • It is wise to get a master's, one never knows if one will actually finish the PhD. Dec 28, 2023 at 15:27

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