Auditing mechanical engineering classes?

In summary, the speaker has recently graduated with a BS in physics and applied math and is considering applying to graduate schools in materials or mechanical engineering or applied math. They have not applied this fall because they do not have enough background in engineering and did not enjoy their recent courses in plasma physics, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics. They are now leaning towards mechanical engineering and are interested in programming and modeling for solving physical problems. They are unsure of what to do now that they have graduated and are considering auditing courses in mechanical engineering, finding a full-time job, or finding an undergraduate research position. They are limited in their options for auditing courses in mechanical engineering and are looking for help until their new semester starts.
  • #1
I just graduated with my BS in physics and applied math. In a year or so, I may apply to grad schools in materials or mechanical engineering or applied math. I chose not to apply this fall since I don't have enough background in engineering to know for sure that I will enjoy graduate studies in those, since I haven't taken any engineering classes.

After completing plasma physics lab and thermodynamics this semester, I didn't enjoy either subject very much. I had enjoyed thermo from my freshman level calc-based physics course, but this upper-div thermo was too theoretical for me. Also, i had mixed feelings after completing quantum mechanics. That's why I've recently been leaning more towards mechanical instead of materials engineering. Also, i enjoyed my freshman-level mechanics class, so i think i may like Statics, Dynamics, and Vibrations. As for applied math, i enjoyed most of the courses in general, but didnt enjoy doing theorem proofs in real and Fourier analysis, so if graduate level applied math requires doing theorem proofs, i wish to avoid it.

I've tried looking for research positions with engineering professors at my current school, but I don't qualify for them since I don't have an engineering background. But from my undergrad research projects and lab courses in physics, I'm sure i want to do programming and modeling instead of experimental work, related to physical problems. I'm not so much interested in the programming tools, so i don't think i'd like Computer science. I'm more interested in the programming tools to solve physical problems

Since I've now graduated from college, what should i do with my time? What should I do: audit some courses in mechanical engineering, find a full-time job, or find a undergrad research position? I don't know if the finding a full-time job option would work, since i may use this upcoming summer to join a research program, so i can't just find a full-time job now, and then quit for the summer, right?

for mechanical engineering, I've looked into heat transfer, fluid mechanics, statics, dynamics, and vibrations. But the only mechE classes i can audit next semester are fluid mech, statics, dynamics, and engineering thermo
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  • #2
my new semester starts in a few days. can anyone help me until then?
  • #3

I would recommend auditing some courses in mechanical engineering to gain a better understanding of the field and to help you make a decision about your graduate studies. This will also give you the opportunity to see if you enjoy the subject matter and if it aligns with your interests and goals. Additionally, you can use this time to explore different areas within mechanical engineering, such as heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and vibrations, which may help you narrow down your focus for graduate studies.

In terms of finding a full-time job or a research position, it ultimately depends on your personal goals and interests. If you are interested in pursuing a career in research, then finding an undergraduate research position may be beneficial as it will allow you to gain hands-on experience in your chosen field. However, if you are more interested in gaining industry experience, then finding a full-time job may be a better option.

You also mentioned not enjoying theorem proofs in your applied math courses. It is important to note that while graduate level applied math may require more theorem proofs, it also involves a lot of programming and modeling, which you mentioned you enjoy. So, it may be worth considering if the theoretical aspect of applied math is something you can manage in order to pursue your interests in programming and modeling.

Ultimately, it is important to use this time to explore your interests and gain a better understanding of what you want to do in the future. Auditing courses, finding a research position, or getting a full-time job can all be valuable experiences that can help you make a more informed decision about your graduate studies.

1. What is the purpose of auditing mechanical engineering classes?

The purpose of auditing mechanical engineering classes is to gain knowledge and understanding of the subject matter without receiving a grade or credit. It allows individuals to attend classes and learn at their own pace without the pressure of exams or assignments.

2. Can anyone audit mechanical engineering classes?

Yes, anyone can audit mechanical engineering classes as long as they have permission from the instructor and there is availability in the class. Some universities may also have specific requirements for auditing courses.

3. Is there a cost to audit mechanical engineering classes?

It depends on the university or institution. Some may allow auditing for free, while others may charge a fee. It is best to check with the specific institution for their policies and fees regarding auditing courses.

4. Do I have to attend all the classes if I am auditing?

It is recommended to attend all classes when auditing a course to gain a full understanding of the material. However, the level of attendance required may vary depending on the instructor's policies and expectations.

5. Can I receive a certificate or degree by auditing mechanical engineering classes?

No, auditing mechanical engineering classes does not result in a certificate or degree. It is solely for personal enrichment and learning purposes. To receive a certificate or degree, individuals must enroll in and complete the course for credit.

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