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A State of confusion between Physics Honours and Engineering.

  1. Jan 1, 2010 #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I passed out of high school this year,as a Science student and so I had to make a decision between taking up an engineering course and a general degree. I was always interested in Physics and so I left myself only two options- Physics Honours and Engineering.

    When I was in high school,I did a few extra things in physics,like relativity,and now,since we are having hlidays in college,I'm reading Richard Feynman's 'QED'. I don't think we even have QED in our Engineering course! I fear that I might have to miss out on all these wonderful aspects of Physics if I continue with my Engineering course.

    So,deep inside,I always wanted to do Physics Honours but my parents said I might have to struggle very hard to establish myself if I took up Physics Honours (since there are so many people doing this course),so they more or less forced me to take up Engineering. I am doing the first year of my Mechanical Engineering Course currently.

    However,I am determined to take up research in Physics after my B.Tech degree--but I am not sure if this is even possible. It would be a waste of time if I did a BSc degree after all these four years of engineering--in that case,what should I do?

    Is it possible to do a MSc after B. Tech?

    You see,I'm absolutely clueless, so please tell me the options I have and if it was a big mistake for me to have taken up Engineering in the first place.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 1, 2010 #2
    I think if you like physics then you should do physics. It sounds like you probably are pretty talented if you were doing a real relativity course in high school; did you do all of the math through calculus 3 in high school? If so (even if not), I would say that you should do physics if you want to do physics, then, if you want to do research go on and get a PhD and do research.

    Are your parents paying for your education? If not, why are you doing what they tell you to do? Either way, you should try to convince them that physics is your passion and that you can be successful in that area. If you feel very strongly about it, take control of your education. See if you can get more scholarships/loans if you need to. Then they will really have no say in the matter.
  4. Jan 1, 2010 #3
    If you dont like engineering you shouldnt do it. Explain to your parents that it makes no sense for you to do something you do not have any interest in because it will be very difficult to establish yourself if you have no passion for the subject.
  5. Jan 1, 2010 #4
    The worst part of this is that I really have no way out of this Engineering course....my mother said that she would break relations with me if I took Physics Honours, and again,now that I've already completed the first semester of my Engineering course,and I've done pretty well,my parents wil never let me change over to a Physics course,as it would cause them a lot of fuss. Also,they are paying for my course. (By the way I didn't do general relativity in High School, but I am quite confident in special relativity.)

    Now, the only thing I can do is to plan what I can do at the end the end of the four years of my Engineering course.

    Can anybody give me any idea of what I could do to switch over to Physics after Engineering...could I take Phd. in Physics after doing Engineering?
  6. Jan 2, 2010 #5


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    Well it is true that physics isn't exactly the easiest career path to pick. To really do research you more or less have to go to graduate school, and even then it's best not to count on work in straight academia.

    If you finish the bachelor's degree and decide you want to go out into the work force the job opportunities aren't as visible as they are in engineering. They do exist though.

    To me the real issue at hand is that it sounds like your parents are getting too much say in the direction of your life. I don't doubt that your parents would be upset with you for making a decision against their wishes, but it's not like you want to quit school and start a drug habit. You want to follow your passion and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

    Some options you may want to look into:
    - transfer into an engineering physics program
    - double major in engineering and physics
    - fill up your electives with enough physics courses to qualify you for graduate work in physics (some graduate schools accept students from engineering)
    - volunteer in a physics lab to get an idea of what kind of work is really involved in research
    - join and volunteer with your local undergraduate physics society
  7. Jan 2, 2010 #6
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  8. Jan 7, 2010 #7
    Thanks everyone..I also tried to get to know about all the options available in India from various local sources,and I have been told that I can do MSc in Physics after B.Tech,followed by Phd. in Physics.

    So it seems that I have finally found a direction to go in!

    Thanks everyone, again.
  9. Jun 12, 2011 #8
    i am in the same state of the above questioner.....pls help me out....which engeniring course is best to switch over to physics...?....outa all the enge courses i am planin to take computer as i think i have slight inclination towards it (nt as much as phy)....is it safe to take it to switch over lane to physics to do MS??? pls help..ny id - instrument.santosh@gmail.com reply soon my councling is going to start soon ! pls !
  10. Jun 12, 2011 #9
    Why don't you do physics instead and actually pay for your education instead of your mother paying for your education. It's what my family does. We all have to pay for our own education. That way you can choose what you want to study.
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