Advice on minor and research

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  • Thread starter DR13
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  • #1
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Sorry this is so long...

I am majoring in nuclear engineering (currently first year) and I am making my schedule for next year. It looks like this so far:
MechE 235 (Thermodynamics, 3 credits)
Math 425 (Prob and Stats, 3 credits)
Film 236 (Intro class, 4 credits)
Undergrad research (2 credits)

This is only 12 credits which is obviously a very light load. My counsleor laid out a 4-yr plan for my graduation and I will have plenty of credits to graduate. However, I have some other options open to me if I choose to pursue them:

With my current plan I end up one class shy of a physics minor. It would be a 3 credit, 300 level class on waves, heat and light with a 2 credit lab attached. This course really does not interest me but if it would help out my career a lot to have the minor then I would bite the bullet and take it in the upcoming semester.

The current research that I am doing is through the Materials Science and Engineering department. My counselor said that I could also sign on to one of the nuclear professors and do work for two labs. My worry about this is that although I have time this semester, I would not have enough time for the next three years to keep it up. So then I would have to decide which research group to stay with. I would prefer to work with the nuclear department since that is, after all, my major. However, I am happy with the group I am with now. I have a lot of responsibility and freedom and they have been very good to me. I would hate to switch to a situation where I do not get to do any of the real research. I plan on emailing a few professors and hopefully they will be honest with me about how much responsibility I would actually have.

If anyone has advice on how I should proceed it would be much appreciated. Right now I am leaning towards not doing the physics minor and switching into a nuclear engineering research group.

Thanks,
DR13
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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In terms of credits, I'm currently taking 15 and planning on continuing taking 15-17 every semester. I'm in Nuclear Engineering as well.

I also work 20 hours a week for a research group and it's very doable. I'd suggest taking a heavier course load.

I have had the suggestion of working for two professor's research groups, but I'd think that wouldn't provide enough time to get real research done.
 
  • #3
150
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In terms of credits, I'm currently taking 15 and planning on continuing taking 15-17 every semester. I'm in Nuclear Engineering as well.

I also work 20 hours a week for a research group and it's very doable. I'd suggest taking a heavier course load.

I have had the suggestion of working for two professor's research groups, but I'd think that wouldn't provide enough time to get real research done.

The research group I am in right now is not 20 hrs/wk but that may just be because I am a first year. I agree with what you say about not getting any real research done. But if I am staying with only one group, do you think that I should switch to a nuclear group? I would feel bad just leaving the group that I am in since they have been so good to me but I guess I have to do what is best for my self. I'm just worried that I will switch to a group and be in a position in which I have no responsibility.

EDIT: About taking a heavier courseload. I figure I might as well get better grades (and enjoy life more) with a lighter load
 
Last edited:
  • #4
Minors really don't matter unless you can do what someone with that major does.
 

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