I am a freshman at a university and so I am a little confused on to what type of courses should I be taking since there is a limit on the number of courses I can take.

I have three options

  1. Double Major in physics and maths and take 3,4 extra physics or maths electives

  2. Major in Physics, minor in maths and take extra 5,6 physics electives

  3. Major in maths, minor in physics and take extra 5,6 maths electives

Which option is better in terms of career and applying to a good graduate school? Let me know if more clarification is required in this question.

Edit: Reading the comments I have altered my options a little

  1. Double Major in physics and maths and take 1 extra physics, 2 maths electives and 5 Programming/ Computer science electives

  2. Major in Physics, minor in maths and take extra 10 physics/ CS/ Programming/ Maths electives

  3. Major in maths, minor in physics and 10 physics/ CS/ Programming/ Maths electives

  • Since all of the options are good, do what you most want to do. You could think about taking some computer science courses rather than loading up on extra math courses. A mathematician who can program has more career options than a mathematician who can't. – John Coleman Nov 6 '17 at 16:24
  • @JohnColeman : I second expecially your last remark. Even as a liberal arts major my programming and computer science knowledge has way more often than not tipped the scale in my favour. You literally always have use for it. – Patric Hartmann Nov 6 '17 at 16:30
  • Worked with physicists and they all write code. If you want to pursue physics, do yourself a favor and take some CS classes. – ventsyv Nov 6 '17 at 18:00

I think you are missing an important part of your ambitions for graduate school and industry careers. The most important asset you have during school is your time. Whether or not this is dedicated to classes, work, or leisure. The idea here is that time spent in one thing cannot be spent on another.

If your goal is to have employment lined up, then industry internships, externships, experiences would be important things to consider.

If your goal is to go to graduate school immediately after undergrad, research experience and friendly relationships with your current faculty is important.

My anecdotal experience is that double, or even triple majoring, has very little impact on your ability to garner a full time position after graduation. It is all about who you know and how well you know them.

Focus on the major that gets the door open for you, if you decide that you want to widen your breadth of experience, then double. Just don't triple unless you really want to. My decision to double major was based on whether or not I wanted to graduate my 2nd year (I wasn't ready), my decision to triple major was whether or not I my resume was good for industry my 3rd year (it wasn't). Hence 4 years of undergrad with three majors and a minor by the time I graduated.

As for CS, I would assert that it would be an excellent addition to any major. But be mindful that the skills you need and will use can all be found online and learned at your own pace, majoring (or minoring) in it is nice, but not required.

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