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Change Majors, Lose Scholarship?

  1. Mar 9, 2009 #1
    I have been accepted to University of my choosing to study Computer Engineering. However, since I applied I've already discovered in no way, shape, or form, do I wish to study computers at the college level. I'm much more interested in Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, or Physics, and wish to forget the in-depth computing idea altogether.

    So there's this scholarship that I'm highly competitive for within the Computing department for freshman undergraduates, and I'm wondering if it's worth changing my major now to Physics or Math or Mech Eng. and losing the opportunity of that scholarship (at this point all scholarship money is merit-based and so will be pocketed and not really a necessity), or just sticking it out with Computer Engineering till the first semester and then switching?

    I guess the basic question is, switch now and lose out on a thousand or so dollars, or just wait cause they'll be mostly Gen. Ed. classes anyways and take the first semester of money?

    Thanks for your help in advance! (And I hope this doesn't sound like a greedy situation... but money is money and if I am awarded the scholarship I think I've earned that money either way.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2009 #2
    I'd take the money and the gen ed classes.
  4. Mar 10, 2009 #3
    I would probably take the money at least for the first semester. If after taking one computer engineering class, and you still don't like it, then switch.
  5. Mar 10, 2009 #4


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    On what as a freshman you are basing this dislike of Computer Engineering?

    you never get much into the real specific engineering part until after the first year. My university was like this.
  6. Mar 10, 2009 #5
    Well I've been programming and involved heavily with computers for around 5 or so years, and took AP Comp Sci and made a 5 last year, and all was well, I was on track for Comp Sci/Comp Eng in college. And then I went to 2 separate colleges for visits and set up to attend Comp Eng classes while there. I just hated it, it's the most boring thing to sit there and learn about the really deep inter workings of the computers to me.

    I still love computers, but as I said, I just don't wish to pursue them as a major anymore.

    And to those that said they'd take the money, thanks for the advice, I was just curious as to what others thought! Thanks
  7. Mar 10, 2009 #6
    Computer Engineering courses are more like EE courses. If you're interested in software, you should do CS. It has some CE-like classes, but every major will have a few tedious classes.

    CE =/= CS. Look into it.

    But to answer your question, I'd take the money and run.
  8. Mar 10, 2009 #7


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    Two areas to consider are computational physics and distributed computing. My company does a lot of research and applications in analysis, which includes software development as well as performing predictive analyses. Our clusters of workstations keep very busy, and on occasion our guys have had to modify hardware when the manufacturer couldn't. Knowledge of hardware and software (both OS and apps) is only part of it.

    I'd say go for the money and learn what one can with regard to Comp Eng.

    There is a demand for engineers/scientists who have knowledge and experience with simulation software, e.g. ANSYS, ABAQUS, Comsol, . . . . , and I'd more so for someone with CE/CS background in addition to the other disciplines in Engineering or Physics.
  9. Mar 10, 2009 #8

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    Suppose you entered a field that you hated, and were miserable for your entire professional life - all because someone paid you a thousand dollars forty years ago. Does this sound like a good bargain?

    That said, there's nothing that says you have to change majors right now. Take a class or two in computer engineering and a class or two in what you are thinking of switching into - you can do this without changing majors - and then make your decision.
  10. Mar 10, 2009 #9
    Hence the post asking for others' advice, thanks. Also, I will not be majoring in anything I can't stand, period.
  11. Mar 10, 2009 #10


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    How did you win the scholarship?
  12. Mar 11, 2009 #11
    It is not worth the risk that your intended temporary arrangement will become permanent. The first semester of college is too important of a time to be preoccupied with "pulling one over on the system." Some people will say it would be crazy not to take the money, but remember that if you don't take the money then someone else will get it. Meanwhile, you will be firmly commited to your chosen field of study and you can read ahead of the people who don't study anything related to their major in the first year.
  13. Mar 11, 2009 #12
    Correction: "this scholarship that I'm highly competitive for." And I would assume I'm "highly competitive" based on my qualifications as a committed high school student along with the various accolades I've received and the motivation I've demonstrated.

    And no, this was not intended to be a "smart" retort.

    This is more along the lines I was thinking of to be honest. But then I think that I'm not 100% sure what I want the major to be (Mech Eng, Math, Physics), so does it really matter that I get out of Comp Eng just to go to one of those and then choose another later? Whereas if I remain where I'm at with the intention of getting out of it and get paid for a semester to stay there, doesn't that make the most logical sense?

    I'm not arguing whatsoever, I'm just spit balling here...
  14. Mar 11, 2009 #13


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    Well, your "retort" does not answered my questions, and I guess you answered your own question. You are set on NOT studying what you don't want, so lose the scholarship, change majors.
  15. Mar 11, 2009 #14
    I suppose the answer you were looking for is that I was very into computers and everything about them (programming, engineering, design), and thus applied for the scholarship. Since applying however I've (as many do I'm sure you're quite aware) decided that it's not for me, and don't wish to pursue it any further. It's not like I'm deciding I hate all computers or anything and it might seem stupid to lose interest before I've been exposed to what it might really be, I've just decided I'm not interested anymore, and would rather look into other things. And for me, that's enough to move on.

    And in response, I'm not worried about losing the scholarship anymore, but instead trying to figure out which of those 3 majors is for me. Thanks for the help everyone.
  16. Mar 11, 2009 #15
    Isn't the first semester, full of gen ed classes, where you don't even necessarily *need* to declare a major, one of the least important semesters?
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