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Aerospace or Mechanical?

  1. Oct 5, 2009 #1
    Well I'm senior in HS with a poor GPA(3.0) and I'm kind of a slacker and don't study much but I like learning new things but get frustrated by reviewing the same things over and over again(too the point where I can completely fail a test because I just didn't care muich). I also am kind of forgetful(lost a few points on math quizs because I forgot a power or missed a sign but did the work correctly) and I also easily get distracted by wanting to know too much things when I don't fully understand the basics such as how can things move in a vacuum if no forces are acting upon an object?

    I also like having fun(sometimes alittle too much).

    Anyways I'd love to be an aerospace engineer but would also like to know that when I get free time I can fix up cars like a mechanic but without the need for one ad also would like to know that I could build a jet engine solo if I had the funds. I'd also like to build car engines and modify them. Thats where my problem comes in I can't really narrow down the list. I heard from a college fair rep that I can dual major in ME/AE and get a dual degree but I was wondering is that easier than double majoring or harder? Is a dual degree worth it? I also don't want to just be a mechanic even though I'd love to fix and repair things if I gained the knowledge how but I'd like to know that when I'm done with work and have a couple free hours/days I can fix up a car or begin working on it.

    Will i struggle in Engineering with my current habits and could a still get some free time with whe I'm doing engineering to meet family and friends?

    What are my chances of getting good Aid and getting into Georgia tech or Boston U?

    I know its a lot but most reps I ask at college fairs tell me they either can't answer the question because they don't have enough info or to use the net.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2009 #2
    The nice thing about aerospace and mechanical engineering is that they are very similar. Both majors learn a lot of the same basic principles, but mechanical engineering is just more broad.

    For example I am a senior mechanical engineer but I have designed and built a remote controlled airplane at my school, I have worked in a lab researching gas turbines and I have worked at NASA. But I intend on going to graduate school and getting my PhD and I am likely going to be focusing on renewable energy. So mechanical engineering usually gives you more options but both degrees are pretty similar.

    A few other things I could tell you is that you will have a very hard time succeeding at engineering with the kind of habits you described. Engineering takes a lot of work but I think a lot of people who are engineers enjoy it so much that they dont mind the workload. I dont particularly enjoy sitting in class and doing homework but I do it because it makes me more productive in the lab because I understand the principles and it allows me to come up with new ideas and understand what others are talking about. So if you want to succeed be prepared to work hard.

    Finally if you want to learn to build cars and jet engines that is not going to happen in the classroom. The best part about college is that are usually so many opportunities to learn about your field outside of the classroom. So when you start college whether it be in mechanical or aerospace engineering be sure to get involved with engineering clubs. My university has a club that designs and builds their own race car and another club that designs and builds their own planes. So maybe start school as an undecided and join similar clubs to learn what you really want to do.

    But again, if you want to succeed you are going to have to work hard.
  4. Oct 6, 2009 #3
    Does it matter what school I go to?
  5. Oct 6, 2009 #4
    The school you go to can be important. I think larger well known universities tend to have more opportunities for you to get involved with engineering clubs or research with professors, but at the same time some smaller schools that are known for their engineering programs can be really good for that sort of thing as well.

    When you are looking for jobs or applying to graduate school I dont think it matters to much what school you went to as long as your gpa is good. I think you start to run into problems when you come from a not so well known school and have a lower gpa.
  6. Oct 7, 2009 #5
    So what if my school is unkown and I have a 3.0?
  7. Oct 7, 2009 #6
    I don't want to sound discouraging, but most engineering programs are time consuming and work intensive. I don't know what you are wanting to commit to, but would you possibly be interested in a career as an engineering technician? A degre program in engineering technology is not as difficult to obtain as a traditional degree in engineering. The classes are based more on application and less on theory. You also have a better opportunity to work on more hands-on projects. I would suggest you check it out.
  8. Oct 7, 2009 #7
    Are you referring to your HS GPA or a hypothetical college GPA? I think you mentioned in your first post that you are in high school, and if this is what you are asking about my guess is that nobody cares whether a high school is well known. If you are asking about getting a 3.0 at an unknown college then I think it matters what your plans are afterwards. Obviously a better GPA will help no matter what but I dont think a 3.0 from an unknown school would be really bad if you trying to get a job. Not good, but not horrible. However if you are trying to get into grad school it could be a pretty big problem.
  9. Oct 7, 2009 #8
    I'll Check it out and would love to minor in a Technology program such as automotive but I've been set on becoming an engineer or something science related since I was a in elementary.
    I'm referring to my HS GPA because most guys told me a I need a good 3.3 to get anywhere near the top fifty.
  10. Oct 7, 2009 #9
    Dont worry so much about where you go for undergrad. Just make sure it is a school that will provide you with the hands on opportunities you are looking for whether it be a club or research with a professor, and do a good job in class. This way it wont even matter where you go. Just because you arent at one of the best schools doesnt mean you have to get a 4.0.
  11. Oct 14, 2009 #10
    Do I have chance of getting into UF,UCF or Georgia tech?
  12. Oct 14, 2009 #11
    You should probably speak with an admissions counselor at any of those schools you listed. They would be able to tell you whether you have a chance at getting accepted.
  13. Oct 14, 2009 #12
    I call but all I get is the guys who tell me to go to an open house which sadly I have no money for( I want to go to colleges outside of my current state) and the ones that visit my school never know what I'm talking about. I say engineer and they say you should talk to a prof at this open house coming up.

    The sad thing is I have so many questions and can never meet anyone qualified to answer them. :(
  14. Oct 14, 2009 #13
    If you can't get the answers you are looking for from an admissions counselor, then I would suggest getting in contact with one of the professors through email. State your concerns and tell him or her about your academic background, study habits, interests, etc... You may not get an immediate response, but be patient.

    Right now study hard for the SAT/ACT, concentrate in your courses and try to bring that GPA up. If anything, you may have to spend a couple of years at a community college if you can't get into a 4-year university.
  15. Oct 14, 2009 #14
    Well I don't think my GPA can go any higher since by the time they see it I would've only completed my first MP.

    Getting all A's is my goal.

    I never thought a GPA of 3.0 would lower me down that much that i'd actually have to consider Community colleges.
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