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Chemical Engineering, but want to do physics too!

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Main Question or Discussion Point

I am in a dilemma.

Next fall I will be attending a university (as a freshman), and will be majoring in chemical engineering.

Now my question is, I really LOVE physics, and how it relates to the real world. Is there anyway that I can pursue physics later in my career after I received a bachelor degree in chemical engineering?

Let's say that I go onto graduate studies...would there be any possible way that I can into some type of graduate physics study with a 4 year degree in chemical engineering?

Because I really want to be a physicist, but chemical engineering is calling my name (not really, just like to think that).

Should I change my major to physics? Because I was planning to major in chemical engineering and then minoring in physics...is that a good idea??

I'm so confused and need guidance! I want to do something that I LOVE to do!
 

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  • #2
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You can always read and study physics as a hobby if you are interested primarily in chemical engineering. I ended up doing something similar to this... I majored in mechanical engineering but double majored in philosophy and did philosophy research on quantum mechanics with the physics department (I just found the philosophy angle more interesting).

It's definitely doable, and after getting some basics down, if you're really still into physics you'll be surprised how much you can teach yourself.

Of course, you could always change your major to physics too. I'm glad I stuck with engineering for the job prospects, but that doesn't mean I can't still read about physics and hang out on these forums etc :smile:. I had friends who double majored in engineering and physics too, but they are all doing engineering now.
 
  • #3
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You can always read and study physics as a hobby if you are interested primarily in chemical engineering. I ended up doing something similar to this... I majored in mechanical engineering but double majored in philosophy and did philosophy research on quantum mechanics with the physics department (I just found the philosophy angle more interesting).

It's definitely doable, and after getting some basics down, if you're really still into physics you'll be surprised how much you can teach yourself.

Of course, you could always change your major to physics too. I'm glad I stuck with engineering for the job prospects, but that doesn't mean I can't still read about physics and hang out on these forums etc :smile:. I had friends who double majored in engineering and physics too, but they are all doing engineering now.
So it's possible for me to pursue a graduate study in physics even with a bachelor degree in chemical engineering?

I admire your passion for physics!
 
  • #4
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So it's possible for me to pursue a graduate study in physics even with a bachelor degree in chemical engineering?
Well, if your goal is graduate study in physics, your best bet is a physics major. Why go through the trouble of studying chemical engineering if you don't plan on using it?

If I had that much passion for physics I would have majored in it :tongue2:.
 
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  • #5
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Well, if your goal is graduate study in physics, your best bet is a physics major. Why go through the trouble of studying chemical engineering if you don't plan on using it?

If I had that much passion for physics I would have majored in it :tongue2:.
Your right!

This is such a hard decision....AH!

Don't get me wrong, I would love to be a chemical engineer, but the works of physics just lure me in.

The only reason I am hesitating of becoming a physicist is that I'm worried about the job security, and about the future of the U.S. economy!

Chemical engineering seems to have a better job security than being a physicist, but that shouldn't be a reason that draws me away from physics!

:wink: Thanks for the advice!
 
  • #6
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Chemical engineering seems to have a better job security than being a physicist, but that shouldn't be a reason that draws me away from physics!
Why shouldn't the job prospects be a consideration? I think it's important to be realistic about what you want to end up doing and what the options are. I can't tell you which to choose, but for starters you might want to check out:

http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/reports/fall09a.pdf
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos052.htm
 
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  • #7
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By all means, go for Chem Engg as a career option.

At college, you get to pick your electives.
Have a look at your course structure to find out how many courses outside of your core stream can you opt for.

All the best
 

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