Bachelors in physics with a minor in electric and computer engineering

In summary, if you want to focus more on physics and less on electronics, then you should major in physics and minored in electrical engineering. If you want to focus more on electronics and less on physics, then you should major in electrical engineering and continue to take physics electives. If you want to focus on both electronics and physics, then you should major in electrical engineering and minored in physics.
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I am considering getting a physics bachelors with a minor in electric and computer engineering. I want to study computers and the hardware behind them, but also study the physics aspects of them. I also am considering going to graduate school to get a masters or PhD and doing research into physics topics that are applicable to computer hardware and electronics. I am considering that I could do research into hardware and new advances in computing, such as quantum computing and photonic computing which will be helped with my physics education. I want to take extra physics courses in electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, and optics for this. I also want to take more computer hardware courses outside my minor.
Although I could just major in electrical and computer engineering, at my school, it is very hard to combine it with the extra physics education that I would want because of the number of classes that I have to take and the limited number of free electives available. My school doesn't have an option between electrical or computer engineering, they have combined it into one program called electrical and computer engineering.
Would this help me with graduate school? I could also go to graduate school in computer engineering with it.
Would I be able to be qualified for any more jobs with the extra minor in electric and computer engineering if I wanted to get a job straight out of bachelor's?
 
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  • #2
Learning the foundations first and then adding some application is usually easier than the opposite direction. With a good physics education you'll find it easier to learn about applications of it. It's more flexible, too, if you decide you want to do something else afterwards.
 
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  • #3
People can do minors in electrical engineering??

Electrical engineering is broad enough that if you want to take more physics classes, then you can. I've seen plenty of people study electrical engineering and concentrate the major on devices and semiconductor physics, or possibly just purely on electromagnetism. From your description it sounds to me like this is what you want to do, and so majoring in physics and minoring in electrical engineering does not make sense to me and sounds like more work than what it's worth.
 
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  • #4
Here is an excerpt from my recent reply in another thread concerning minors:

CrysPhys said:
I would focus more on the subject matter and experience (through elective courses and projects), rather than getting an official minor. I don't think there's much to gain from having "Major in X, Minor in Y" listed on your transcript. If you stop with a BS in X, and look for a job that's primarily related to Y, then the job posts will state either (a) "BS in Y required"; in which case, the HR software filters will trash your application, or (b) "BS in Y preferred. BS in X will be considered, with appropriate experience in Y"; in which case, your resume and cover letter can highlight your education and experience in Y, regardless of whether or not you have an official minor in Y listed on your transcript. ...
 
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What about when it comes to going to graduate school? I want to study and do research on quantum computing and photonic computing, and this requires graduate school. These fields would require more of a physics background. I won't learn enough about quantum mechanics and optics in electrical engineering.
 
  • #6
sciencemathematics1 said:
What about when it comes to going to graduate school? I want to study and do research on quantum computing and photonic computing, and this requires graduate school. These fields would require more of a physics background. I won't learn enough about quantum mechanics and optics in electrical engineering.
I'm assuming you're in the US; is that correct?

Not sure what your question is here. But if your primary interests lie in physics, then major in physics, continue on to a PhD program in physics, and take the appropriate engineering electives (EE, optics, computers ...). If your primary interests lie in engineering, then major in engineering, continue on to a PhD program in engineering, and take the appropriate physics electives. You can take electives in both your undergrad and grad programs (assuming you're talking about the US).

If you're not sure, you can also switch majors between undergrad and grad, but that's a bit harder (depending on your specific programs). But you seem to have a reasonable vision of what you want in the long term. Either way, you don't need to tie yourself to an official minor; and I don't see any advantage to it for grad school either: it's the coursework and the experience gained through projects that are relevant, not a "Minor in Y" listed on your transcript.

Also, some EE depts have strong programs in optics, particularly optoelectronic devices, networks, and systems. Other schools have separate programs for optics and optical engineering. Regardless, you would still take physics courses for quantum mechanics and E&M.
 
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  • #7
Does your university limit the number of electives you can take, or do they simply not require as much electives for your curriculum?

At the university I went to just because the curriculum required 3 electives in a certain area didn't mean that I was limited to only taking 3. I finished my undergraduate education with over 260 quarterly units. I took a lot of classes outside of my major and I did not finish with a minor neither as a double major. I can still do this in graduate school although my department won't accept it as progress towards their curriculum without having one of their administrators sign off on it prior to the term.

For reference: At this university you could finish with as little as 180 and most of my classmates finished somewhere between 180-200 units with a few outliers at about 220.
 
  • #8
You should look into an engineering physics program with a concentration in electrical engineering
 

Related to Bachelors in physics with a minor in electric and computer engineering

1. What is the difference between a bachelor's in physics and a bachelor's in engineering?

A bachelor's degree in physics focuses on understanding the fundamental laws and principles of the natural world, while a bachelor's degree in engineering emphasizes the application of scientific and mathematical concepts to design and solve real-world problems.

2. Can I pursue a career in both physics and engineering with this degree?

Yes, this degree combination provides a strong foundation in both fields, allowing you to pursue careers in a variety of industries such as research, technology, and manufacturing.

3. What is the benefit of having a minor in electric and computer engineering?

A minor in electric and computer engineering complements your physics degree by providing you with practical skills and knowledge in areas such as electronics, circuit design, and computer programming. This can make you a more well-rounded and competitive candidate for jobs in industries that require both physics and engineering expertise.

4. Are there any specific job opportunities for graduates with this degree?

Graduates with a bachelor's in physics and a minor in electric and computer engineering can pursue a wide range of careers including electrical or computer engineer, research scientist, data analyst, or technical consultant.

5. Is it possible to switch to a different major or minor within the program?

Yes, many universities allow students to change their major or minor within the program as long as they meet the necessary requirements. It is important to consult with your academic advisor before making any changes to ensure you stay on track for graduation.

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