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Physics 101 vs. Physics 131 @ McGill - What's the REAL difference?

A photo of lillybeans lillybeans
Hey everyone,

So I will be going to McGill in september, and I will be studying Life Science. I have a hard time figuring out which physics course I should choose. It says "PHYS 101 Introductory Physics - Mechanics" is without calculus, while "PHYS 131 Mechanics and Waves" is pretty much the same, except it requires calculus.

The thing is, I've never taken physics before in high school, although I will be taking Physics 11 in summer school this year. Would it be safer to take the introductory course (101) and not 131? But for the courses higher up, they all require 131 not 101, so I'm afraid taking physics 101 won't get me anywhere. Although 101 is introductory and 131 seems like a regular physics course, according to the description, calculus is the only difference, which I'm not too worried about. Just wondering, other than calculus, is 131 a LOT more difficult than the introductory physics course?

Also, I want to keep my options open. In case I decide that I want to switch major and go into chemical engineering second year and not life science, I will need a solid physics background. Any advice?

Thanks in advance.
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A photo of Sean1218 Sean1218

@lillybeans wrote
Hey everyone,

So I will be going to McGill in september, and I will be studying Life Science. I have a hard time figuring out which physics course I should choose. It says "PHYS 101 Introductory Physics - Mechanics" is without calculus, while "PHYS 131 Mechanics and Waves" is pretty much the same, except it requires calculus.

The thing is, I've never taken physics before in high school, although I will be taking Physics 11 in summer school this year. Would it be safer to take the introductory course (101) and not 131? But for the courses higher up, they all require 131 not 101, so I'm afraid taking physics 101 won't get me anywhere. Although 101 is introductory and 131 seems like a regular physics course, according to the description, calculus is the only difference, which I'm not too worried about. Just wondering, other than calculus, is 131 a LOT more difficult than the introductory physics course?

Also, I want to keep my options open. In case I decide that I want to switch major and go into chemical engineering second year and not life science, I will need a solid physics background. Any advice?

Thanks in advance.



Only you can judge whether the possibility of a less than stellar grade is worth keeping your options open. If it is, you need to take calc-based physics.
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A photo of plato plato

@lillybeans wrote
Hey everyone,

So I will be going to McGill in september, and I will be studying Life Science. I have a hard time figuring out which physics course I should choose. It says "PHYS 101 Introductory Physics - Mechanics" is without calculus, while "PHYS 131 Mechanics and Waves" is pretty much the same, except it requires calculus.

The thing is, I've never taken physics before in high school, although I will be taking Physics 11 in summer school this year. Would it be safer to take the introductory course (101) and not 131? But for the courses higher up, they all require 131 not 101, so I'm afraid taking physics 101 won't get me anywhere. Although 101 is introductory and 131 seems like a regular physics course, according to the description, calculus is the only difference, which I'm not too worried about. Just wondering, other than calculus, is 131 a LOT more difficult than the introductory physics course?

Also, I want to keep my options open. In case I decide that I want to switch major and go into chemical engineering second year and not life science, I will need a solid physics background. Any advice?

Thanks in advance.



Take the calculus course. Just means a more in-depth treatment of the material. Physics without calculus is useless for upper year courses.
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A photo of ghana1994 ghana1994
The Physics 101 course will be easier...
But, since you need the Calculus course for upper classes, take it.
And you will need some Physics for Chemical Engineering.

But how come you're picking your courses now? You will get some help from academic advisors when you get to McGill, during the orientation week.
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A photo of hockeynut91 hockeynut91
ok so they cover the same topics. 131 is quite a lot harder, the average was much lower then 101. But if you want to keep your options open then you have to take 131 as its required for all the physical sciences. Not much else to say really. Ragan's a really good prof hahaha. PM me if you have other questions.
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