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Careers: Physics/Switching from CSE to Phy Majors...



   I am Student currently pursuing B-Tech Computer Science and Engineering. I absolutely love physics, ever science I was young I wanted to reach the stars, solve problems and figure out how to make the world a better place. Although I do enjoy programming and coding, there is this sound in my heart that points towards my real passion to take up physics. I wanted to ask you if by any chance I can pursue a Physics degree right after I complete my B-Tech, here in India or Abroad. If it is possible, what are the pre requisites that I have to have.

Thank You in advance for the help you give me...

Hi Abhishek:

Yes, it is possible but it will be a challenge.  If possible you should try to take as many physics courses as possible.  This may not be an option in India but if you can, this will help a lot.  The second thing to do is to try to get a Masters in physics in India in order to demonstrate the competence in the field which is needed to get into a PhD program (I assume that this is your eventual goal).  In the meantime, a lot of self-study in the areas of classical and quantum mechanics as well as electrodynamics can help you get ready for the switch.

Good luck,


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Carlo Segre


I can answer most questions about studying physics in college and graduate school; questions about condensed matter physics; x-ray physics; synchrotron radiation; and general and modern physics. I can also answer questions about careers in academia.


Professor of physics for 30 years at Illinois Institute of Technology. Academic adviser for undergraduates and graduate students. I have served on university promotion and tenure committees, search committees for Deans and Department Chairs. I have also been an Associate Department Chair and an Associate Dean. I have 34 years experience in materials science research and I have been responsible for building and now managing a User facility at the Advanced Photon Source.

American Physical Society
Sigma Xi
American Chemical Society
American Associate for the Advancement of Science
International Centre for Diffraction Data (Fellow)
International X-ray Absorption Society

Nature; Physical Review Letters; Physical Review; Applied Physics Letters; Journal of Physical Chemistry; Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials; Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics; Solid State Communications; Physics Letters; Journal of Low Temperature Physics; Journal of Crystal Growth and Design; Physics Letters; Journal of Applied Physics; Journal of Archaeological Science; Physica C; Corrosion Science; Electrochimica Acta; Journal of Nuclear Materials

Ph.D. Physics, 1981 - University of California, San Diego
M.S. Physics, 1977 - University of California, San Diego
B.S. Physics, 1976 - University of illinois, Champaign-Urbana
B.S. Chemistry 1976 - University of illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Awards and Honors
Duchossois Leadership Professor of Physics, IIT Fellow, International Center for Diffraction Data

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