Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Applied Science school vs. Engineering school?

  1. Sep 5, 2006 #1
    I just started at an applied science school and I'm going to be majoring in Computer Engineering Technology. From my limited understanding of the major, there is more application than theory involved compared to Computer Engineering at an Engineering school. Is this correct? I'm thinking I want to transfer to a good engineering school but I don't think my ECET and CET classes will transfer and will be money down the drain. What do you guys suggest I do? If an engineering school is better I will willingly lose some time and money to switch. I noticed not many universities even have an applied science school. What exactly is the difference?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2006 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It probably varies from school to school, but at my undergrad school, the Computer Science degree was really an EE degree with a specialty in software and software theory. The degree was called EE/CS, or something similar. Yes, there would be more in-depth study and more theory in the EE/CS degree, compared to a CET degree, I believe.

    For example, in working toward an EE/CS degree, you will take many of the intro EE hardware classes along with the more hardware-oriented EEs. The first two years of all engineering specialties are typically very similar, including the math, physics, chemistry, etc. requirements. The last two years of the 4-year program is typically where they diverge, and different specialties take more classes focused on their chosen field. So in your 2nd two years, you will be taking more classes on how to design and write compilers and database engines, and Internet Protocol related stuff. You will also take more theoretical classes on information theory and some abstract state machine mumbo-jumbo classes (er, sorry, I didn't enjoy those).

    My impression of CET is that it is a more superficial treatment of software. You will learn to program in several languages, and study database engines some, but I doubt you will write a compiler, which is fundamental to understanding many things in the EE/CS field.

    As for options, do you have a good 2-year college or junior college near you? You can generally transfer to a 4-year college after finishing the 2-year college, and transfer right into your 3rd year. Or you could just go straight to the 4-year college and start from scratch. Good luck in whatever you choose! -Mike-
  4. Sep 8, 2006 #3
    Well I've already enrolled at University of Cincinnati for CET. Other than math and English, my classes are all "elements of computer engineering technology" and "elements of electrical and computer engineering technology". I want to end up at Ohio state's engineering school but I'm not sure if they would transfer those credits. I don't mind losing a few credits as long as I can get in, I just hope CET is regarded highly enough to ensure my admissibility since OSU Eng. is so hard to get into. I do want to learn how to write compilers and write high and low level languages. I'd also like to design and improve hardware. Basically covering all bases. Thanks for your help!
  5. Sep 8, 2006 #4
    I was in the same boat you were. I came out of the military and was enrolled in a program for electronics engineering technology. I wanted to do some form of electrical engineering at a 4 year institution. So I called up the school I wanted to attend (now my current school) EE department and asked them if what I was doing was a good idea.

    Their answer was: NO. If you want to transfer into our engineering program you should take the calculus series (and Diff EQ), chemistry, physics and the rest of your general ed (humanities, English, etc).

    What I strongly recommend doing is calling the university you want to attend and asking their CIS or EE/CS department (depends on how the Univ. is set up) and seeing what they recommend for transfers. More than likely they should have a transfer student course layout. From what I understand most public schools have agreements with CC that if you complete certain courses with a certain GPA you will get admitted into their program. I did it and now I am junior in EE at the University I always wanted to go to!
  6. Sep 8, 2006 #5
    I agree with Valhalla,

    first off, talk to the school you want to get into. If you can't transfer in right away because of money issues (who doesn't have those?) or GPA issues (the reason I couldn't transfer to a 4 year right away), get yourself into a community college and take care of your calculus and maybe diff eq/linear algebra, your calculus based physics, and your chemistry classes. You should be able to do those in 2 years or 1 year if you are extreamly motivated and take spring/summer courses. Make sure ahead of time that they will transfer to the 4 year of your choice.

    If nothing else, you will save a ton of money taking them at a CC then at a 4 year. You may not be able to transfer directly into the engineering program of your choice, but you should get accepted as a general transfer. After that, you can start jumping through whatever hoops the engineering department decides to put in your way.

    I'm pretty sure it's easier to transfer as an undecided and then change your major to engineering then it is to try and transfer directly in as an engineering major. It's like, once your in the system, it's easier to move around, so take the path of least resistance to get in.
  7. Sep 9, 2006 #6
    I'm taking a pre-req course to calculus. I believe the class includes math i'll need for the labwork i'll be doing soon. Do you think Ohio State would admit me without having calc done? I have no problem doing it there. A woman I talked to at the Applied Science school said that Engineering schools go more in depth with calc and physics so it would be best if I took those classes at the school I want to get into.
  8. Sep 9, 2006 #7
    Getting in as a general transfer will largely depend on GPA and recommendations. If your GPA is not great, you may have to prove yourself for a semester or 2 at another school.

    Getting accepted as an engineering student would be harder. I was considering going to UofM for my EE degree and even though I had fulfilled every requirement that the EE department required, with a satisfactory GPA, I was rejected. My advisor suggested applying as a liberal arts major and then transferring after a semester to the college of engineering. I also had recommendations from 2 UofM PhD alums When I applied as a liberal arts transfer, I got right in with no problem. I ultimately decided not to go because of cost, but I'm sure I could have successfully applied to the college of engineering after 1 semester.

    Also, any calculus you take now will help you later, even if you have to take a calculs course aimed at engineering students later, you will be well ahead of you classmates.
  9. Sep 9, 2006 #8
    At UC's OMI College of Applied Science I know I could get good grades. I will be dedicating tons of time to studying and i'll take advantage of their tutoring program if there's any math I don't understand because I realize how important it will be to know it.

    You've been really helpful and I appreciate it :]
  10. Sep 10, 2006 #9


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    You didn't happen to be a quartermaster in the Navy, did you...?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook