Changed major to physics

  • Programs
  • Thread starter Jonnyb42
  • Start date
  • #1
186
0
I switched my major to physics from Electrical Engineering, (I am finished with freshman year and will be starting sophomore year as physics major), and many people seem disappointed with the decision. I think it has mainly to do with how much money is made; physics vs. engineering.
I have to say that I like to think of myself as an engineer and I really like engineering, the only reason I switched is because I wanted really good knowledge of physics because I believe it will make me a better engineer. (speaking very generally.) as my goals are related to nanotechnology.
I love both engineering and physics of course, hate those idiotic classes such as government and history. My question on here is just, what do you guys think of a reason like that to change majors, and any facts/opinions or something that would make me more satisfied with my decision.
I can of course switch back.

I don't want to end up on the streets wishing I had stayed with engineering.

Any advice is nice,
Thanks
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
fss
1,179
0
You can usually take physics classes as an engineering student. If you want to be an engineer, you should obviously major in an engineering discipline.
 
  • #3
93
0
Also just made the switch from engineering. I chose physics because that's what I always wanted and choosing engineering was to stay close to physics while still worrying about employability. I had to remind myself that even before engineering I was in an IT degree and opted out for my diploma because I absolutely hated it. Like... Drinking every night to blackout I hated it so much. I had chosen IT because it seemed to be the easiest way to a high paying job.

Main point: Don't make decisions based on money. Go with what you're truly interested in.

Also, one of my engineering profs has his PhD in physics and worked in industry as an engineer. Take from that what you will.



You can usually take physics classes as an engineering student.

It depends on the school.

At the school I would have transferred to (completed first year at a smaller university) the engineering courses are pretty well mapped out with no room for electives. There is room for a couple technical electives in fourth year, but you choose those from a list of engineering courses.

In MechE, you're taking 40/36/40 credits in 1st/2nd/3rd year so you *can* take electives, but fitting it into your schedule and doing well is hard.
 
Last edited:
  • #4
1,789
4
1. Having a bachelors in engineering can usually qualify one to be called an 'engineer' for purposes of a job. But to be regarded as a physicist, you need to go the long road...i.e. get a PhD at least.

2. If you just like physics in the way that you'd want to do a few courses but aren't sure of going further, you can stay in engineering and take electives if your school allows that. This is the "keep your options" open bit of advice that you will hear from everyone, and it sort of makes sense if your interests are in a state of flux at this point.

3. If you pursue a BS in EE and decide to work in microelectronics or RF, you'd really be doing a lot of applied physics. But it is also possible to pursue EE after your bachelors in Physics - jobs may be harder to come by, but you can always do an MS in EE.

4. Note that it will be much harder to pursue Physics grad school after a bachelors in EE.
 
  • #5
Pyrrhus
Homework Helper
2,179
1
Advantages of changing from engineering to physics are:

More Math (good if you love it like me)
More physics (good if you like it)

Disadvantages:

Less design courses, and other related engineering courses.

Therefore, make sure to look at the Courses EE does, and might be useful for Nanotech. You should talk with an advisor about this.

By the way, a popular alternative for engineers is to choose Engineering Physics/Engineering Science/Engineering Math, they are basically the same degree (except schools tend to use different names). It is a degree that'll bring you closer to the physics, while still you receiving your engineering degree (check if the program is accredited, sometimes it might not be).
 

Related Threads on Changed major to physics

Replies
23
Views
3K
Replies
3
Views
859
Replies
13
Views
1K
Replies
4
Views
6K
Replies
9
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
4K
Replies
4
Views
2K
Top