Sorry if this question isn't appropriate for this forum.

I'm a math and physics junior undergrad who wants to go into theoretical physics, in the direction of string theory or something like that. I'm going to have taken a bunch of grad classes in math and physics by the time I'm done. But, I really don't want to take the lab classes that are required for the physics major since there are a lot of other classes I want to take instead, and the lab classes at my school have a reputation of being time-intensive & uninteresting.

So, I'm strongly considering getting a minor in physics because of this. My question is whether it is advisable to do this, and if it would look too awkward to not have a physics major because of lab courses, even if I'll have good graduate coursework done. I'm also planning on talking to some of my professors about this, but I wanted to get some additional input from this forum.


closed as primarily opinion-based by Qmechanic Nov 26 '16 at 5:59

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ While it doesn't answer your question I have to say that avoiding lab work (yes, even the tedious basic lab work) will leave you with a hole in your preparation that will hurt unless you going into one of those subfields marked by a dearth of actual contact with experiment. You might plan to make it up by taking a couple of advanced labs in grad school, but those courses are hard enough even when you know your way around the tedious basics. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Nov 26 '16 at 18:51

The only real answer here is to form a list of programs you might want to get into and check the requirements. You really don't want to shoot from the hip on things like this. If it's not a requirement, you don't have to do it. If your academic performance is otherwise great, I don't see a department turning down a great student for reasons that don't relate to actual requirements. Of course, if you are at all uncertain that you'll come out of your senior year with a great academic record, you should do the lab classes ...


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