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Freshman Year Classes

Ajacks39Ajacks39 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
I'm in my freshman year at Purdue University, and I was wondering what science class to take next semester in preparation for the Academy. The physics program here is one of the hardest in the country (freshman physics is the fifth most dropped class in the nation), and I've heard chemistry at the Academy is a killer the first year. Should I take another semester of chem so I have a better chance of it transferring or of testing out, or is physics just as bad, and I should take it here and try to test out of both? Thanks
Post edited by Ajacks39 on

Replies to: Freshman Year Classes

  • USAFA10sUSAFA10s Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    Take whatever you feel you will get the most out of. I would actually say that the required physics courses are harder than the chemistry ones (and I am one of a few physics majors). If possible, take both, that is my advice, but if you have to choose, pick the one that you are currently weaker at.
  • USAFA2015USAFA2015 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I transferred from another college last year to USAFA, here are my recommendations:
    If you are going to take chemistry, make sure that you take two semesters with labs. I took one semester with a lab, and they did not give me credit for it and they stuck me in a very hard class.
    If you take physics courses they are pretty easy to get transfer credit for. I don't know how challenging the physics courses are here, but I do not recommend taking chemistry here.
  • USAFA10sUSAFA10s Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    Did they put you in 110? Because I think you are leaving part of the story out. The "very hard" class is one semester versus the two that you normally have to take. As far as I know, VERY FEW IF ANY get to transfer credit for chemistry no matter what you took. Perhaps things have changed, but that is my understanding of the system.
  • USAFA2015USAFA2015 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I am in Chem 110.
  • Ajacks39Ajacks39 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thanks for your advice, and I've decided to take both and not take English. However, I picking up that I do not want to get put in Chem 110. After this semester, I will have three semesters of chem with lab (also took 1 year in high school for college credit through St. Louis University). Where would this leave me?
  • USAFA2015USAFA2015 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    You should get credit for chemistry as long as you get decent grades.
  • USAFA10sUSAFA10s Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    should being the operative word. I have many friends who did not and just took 110. My take is, if you took that much chem, even if they don't give you the credit, you would want to take 110 because it saves you an entire semester, but this is way in the future. You can decide when you have finished basic :)
  • Ajacks39Ajacks39 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    @USAFA2015 I got an A in my high school class, have an A this semester, and if next semester's class is anything like this one, I'll have another A no problem. Also, I did the same college course program during high school with physics as well, so I'll have 2 semesters at the end of this year, both with lab. You said physics transfers pretty well; where would this put me.

    @USAFA10s Kind of off topic, but I've been wondering about the first part of basic. From what I've read, the first part of basic is mainly learning drill, pt, and getting adjusted to the military lifestyle. I'm doing rotc here, and not to put it us on par with the Academy, but being the number 1 detachment in the country, our training is pretty top notch. Though I have no doubt it will be challenging (its the academy), will the first part of basic be mostly a review? USAFA2015 feel free to pitch in as well (especially if you had any rotc experience before transfering).

    Thanks for all your help
  • USAFA10sUSAFA10s Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    Yes, it will be, but you will still have a ton of knowledge to memorize. I want to warn you though, if you act like you know everything because you did rotc, you will have a very painful basic. Do not let anyone know you did rotc unless they ask you and certainly do not mention that you were the "number 1 detachment" that is just asking for pain. I did Civil Air Patrol, and our squadron had almost no one in it, but I still found the first part of basic very boring and pretty easy. I had no trouble with marching and drill and that was nice.

    Your role will be to help everyone else out, without acting like you know it all. Its a tricky line because you will be tempted to fall into the "that's not how we did it in rotc" trap. Never say that, ever.

    That's the best advice I can give. In short, yes there will be a lot of review, but there will be a lot you don't know.
  • Ajacks39Ajacks39 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    @USAFA10s Oh, rest assured, I'm not telling anyone I did ROTC until after Basic, because I can only imagine the things that would befall me should let that slip. One of the hardest things for me is going to be learning all the different acronyms and a brand new chain of command, so I'm going to concentrate on that first and foremost.

    I've been doing some looking and I have a few questions about majors at USAFA. I'm really thinking about chemical engineering, but of all the academies, only Army (yeah, right) has it. So instead, I was thinking about being a physics major (may want to be test pilot), and just having a strong background in chem, so maybe I could go on to get a masters in chemical engineering. Could you provide any info about majoring in chem vs physics (i.e. course load, quality of program, which one would be the easier way to get where I'm going).
  • USAFA10sUSAFA10s Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    That is something that I don't think you even want to think about right now. You don't even have to declare your major until October of your sophomore year.

    But, since you asked I will give you my opinion. I would major in physics and do a chem focus. The physics major offers a lot more flexibility in what you choose to focus on than you would get as a chemistry major. Although, the physics major is generally considered one of the hardest majors at USAFA, so don't take it on lightly. Once you are here you can talk to both departments, but in general the physics department leaves more room to focus on what you are interested in.
  • USAFA2015USAFA2015 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Ajacks39,
    I agree with USAFA10s.
    As I said before you should get credit with chemistry, but you never know. I'd say you have a very good chance.
    I also agree with what USAFA10s said about basic. The first part of basic should be much easier for you than for the people who did not do ROTC. I did not do ROTC so I found basic more difficult than other people did who had already been exposed to the military lifestyle. Also, as USAFA10s said, be careful about who you tell about being in ROTC, but help out your classmates, because you will have some knowledge they won't.
    I don't know much about the Chemistry or Physics departments, but I would recommend waiting until you get to the academy and get to know each of the departments before making a decision.
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