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Calc-based Physics without knowing calculus?

inquirer8612inquirer8612 34 replies10 threads Junior Member
Hi! So I'm a freshman going into a physics and philosophy major (interdisciplinary) at Boston U, but because the only class offered at my high school was IB Math SL, I don't have a grip on calculus. Should I be taking calculus-based physics at the same time as calculus, or should I wait to take physics until my next semester?
I'm not sure if it would make a difference to wait, hence my question, but it is a prereq., I'm just allowed to enroll anyway.
7 replies
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Replies to: Calc-based Physics without knowing calculus?

  • damon30damon30 1147 replies5 threads Senior Member
    If you can put off taking Physics until after you have finished Calculus, that will make Physics much less stressful.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    Wait on the physics, take Calc first. Or try to take Calc somewhere this summer (ask the U if it is okay, or just audit it). Physics is a major that usually has a ton of math requirements along with it, you will likely be going far beyond Calc before you are done.
    edited June 2019
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  • skieuropeskieurope 40797 replies7570 threads Super Moderator
    That's a question for a BU adviser. In theory, BU allows you to take calc 1 and calc-based physics concurrently with instructor approval. But the question really is should you, and the answer is "It depends."

    Unlike in HS, where it is common for students to take AP Calc and AP Physics C concurrently, with the physics teacher filling in any needed calc gaps, in college, the physics instructor will teach physics and assume you know the calculus needed. Without seeing the syllabi, none of us will know if you will have covered the calc topics by the time they are needed for physics.
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3686 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Some people who take calc 1 and calc-based physics may have had some calc before. I would not start college being behind - so calc first then physics. Is the physics course offered in the spring as well or just the fall?
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  • inquirer8612inquirer8612 34 replies10 threads Junior Member
    I can, yes. Also, is it dumb to stack up principles of physics and general physics my second semester? Gen physics isn't in the degree requirements, but I've been looking into it and I'm going to need it.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43212 replies471 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    Follow the sequence.
    Take calculus, then calculus-based physics level 1 then level 2.
    edited June 2019
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83328 replies741 threads Senior Member
    A common college sequence is:

    Semester 1:
    Calculus 1

    Semester 2:
    Calculus 2
    Physics (calculus based) 1 (with mechanics)

    Semester 3:
    Calculus 3 (multivariable)
    Physics (calculus based) 2 (with E&M)
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