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Advice on Switching from Physics to Engineering: Transferring from LAC

  1. Mar 14, 2012 #1
    This year I am a freshman at a top ten liberal arts college in the U.S. with a strong physics department. In case you need a little reference material on my academic background my fall semester GPA was 3.4 and my SAT scores from high school (reading & math) where a combined 1350. I am posting on the boards in search of some guidance.

    I entered my current school with the belief that I was interested in pure physics and if I chickened out of grad school for physics I could "fall back" on a masters of engineering degree. What I failed to realize was that my interest was really in engineering in the first place and that selecting a school with no program was not a great way to start my collegiate career. Additionally without a bachelor's in engineering some states will not allow you to sit the EIT exam and the ones that do for engineering masters candidates (justifiably so) make you wait until the completion of your masters degree. This means that it is even later in your career when you can become a PE and I do not want to close any doors by not being licensed.

    My goal now is to transfer into a school in the northeast to complete a bachelors of mechanical engineering. I will provide my freshman schedule so that readers can comment on courses I may want to take to get up to speed on engineering curriculum.

    Fall Semester:
    Foreign Language
    Classical Physics (Mechanics, waves and some thermo) With Calculus
    Calculus I
    General Chemistry (Conceptual quantum chem, structure and bond theory, LCAO & VSEPR, LOTS of spectroscopy and some organic/inorganic/solid state nomenclature, reactions/synthesis techniques).

    Spring Semester:
    Writing/English Class
    Classical Physics II w/ Calculus (Intro E&M)
    Calculus II
    Foreign Language.

    Any comments would be appreciated. I am looking for advice on programs you may think I would be a good fit at and any suggestions or concerns you may have for a student in my position.

    Thank You.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2012 #2
    Also when is the best time to transfer?
  4. Mar 15, 2012 #3
    Sounds to me like you're taking the exact same schedule an engineering student would take at the freshman level. The difference between physics and engineering for the first year, and sometimes the first two, is mostly cosmetics and a throwaway intro course.

    The best time to transfer is Fall, because most universities admit the bulk of new students at this time and structure their course schedules accordingly (for instance, scheduling more "part one" classes in the Fall, then more "part two" classes in the Spring).
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