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A double major in Aerospace Engineering & Physics?

  1. May 15, 2008 #1

    I will be a freshman in college next year and I am wondering about the possible benefits of this double major. I am very interested in physics, but would like to probably pursue a career in aerospace engineering. However, I have heard from several people studying engineering in college that doing a double major in these two fields would be very difficult. Obviously, I have a lot of time to make a decision, but I would like some information from students and engineers -- is this really worthwhile for grad school?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2008 #2
    In my opinion it will just make your life very difficult. If you're going to do aerospace, just read physics as a hobby and take the occasional physics elective.
  4. May 16, 2008 #3
    Either major alone is difficult. Grad school generally doesn't care, as long as you had the required preparation for the program you're entering and kept your grades up. The extra physics background won't hurt as an AE, but the only good reason to do this is if you want to badly enough to keep focused.
  5. May 16, 2008 #4
    Eh... You could do Engineering Physics with a focus in your preferred direction.

    I was going to do that once but I decided it wasn't for me.

    UC Berkeley has a program along those lines though and they do accept junior transfers so as long as you take basic CS, Physics, Chem and do well you should be able to consider it a possibility.
    Last edited: May 16, 2008
  6. May 16, 2008 #5
    I don't know how this is laid done in the US, but here i europe (the german/UK tradition at least, that is western europe) you can have a degree in one subject and then it is up to the admissionsboard to admit you to the subject in question. Engineering physics for instance in sweden is a ticket to do research in a LOT OF subjects. Like automation, HEP, CMP, mathematics, power-generation, quantum chem, programming, algorithmitic computing and the likes.

    SO, my advice to you is getting the engineering physics degree and put some aeronautical core courses in there. But if you do it in that fashion, you are more dependent on your contacts. Get some, and use them wisely.
  7. May 16, 2008 #6


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    I would recommend perusing the websites of the Aerospace Engineering dept and Physics dept at universities of interest, and determining any overlaps in the requirements. If each major requires 2-3 core courses per semester, then one would need to take those 4-6 during one semester - in addition to fulfilling other requirements from the university. It might take 5 years instead of 4 or attending summers to take electives, for example some humanities courses. One may need concurrence of both departments.
  8. May 16, 2008 #7
    My school has an engineering physics degree for undergrad which I've been considering. I am leaning on doing Aerospace Engineering as a major for sure. Perhaps I will simply take courses in physics and decide whether or not it is worthwhile to pursue a double major later.
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