1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Choosing a Major

  1. Jul 22, 2009 #1
    I am so confused over which major to pick. The ones I have on my mind are as follows:

    1. math with computer science
    2. CS with math
    3. engineering with a Computer Engineering Specialization
    4. physics with a math minor
    5. pure mathematics

    The problem is that math is so easy, so I am tempted to just major in it just to make the deans list, etc. Then, I could apply to med school and make lots of money =) #3 includes a bunch of physics which I found difficult but interesting (I only took the first semester of general physics and wasn't ever exposed to physics before- could that be why I found it difficult?). I took C++ class and it was so fun. I actually liked doing my lab work. However, I think that it was only fun because it was so simple and I kept getting really good grades, and I like good grades...or possibly because my professor was funny. I heard that computer engineering deals with robotics if you want to go that way and that really interests me. I've never even taken an engineering class before....so that is totally new to me. Should I delve into the engineering path because it intrigues me? Pure mathematics also sounds like fun because you can work on new ideas, which is fascinating. I am so confused. All of these subjects really interest me. Is there anyone that can give some advice? Keep in mind that salaries are also important to me. I really wanna make a lot of money. I know it sounds shallow, but this is a factor in my decision. I will be working hard towards whichever I set my focus on and like rewards.

    Thanks so much for your advice =)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Just to throw it out there: university level 'anything' can be a completely different league from high school. Just because you find math easy now, doesn't mean that it will continue to be a high marks trump card all the way through.

    It sounds to me like the best option for you would be to take a general first year science or engineering program. Take courses that will keep all of those options open and then decide on a stream in your second or third year. As you advance, you can specialize more.
  4. Jul 23, 2009 #3
    If you find math "easy" (although as Chopper said, i'd reasonably expect that to change very much) and you have a strong interest in application then major in Applied Math and take as many phys and engineering(if eng will let you do that, much to my chagrin, they wouldn't let me in undergrad) courses as you can.
  5. Jul 23, 2009 #4
    I've taken a few 200 level math courses and found them easy too, so I don't know if you mean that they get harder in the 300 and 400 level.

    My school's engineering major doesn't let me take many electives. I can only take a few and choose to take general biology and chemistry and orgo so that I can leave the option for medical, should I like to go that way in the future.

    Also, I was looking at a few jobs that are available and they accept people for several occupations with both computer engineering and computer science degrees. How close are these two related and how are they so different that they require such different courses?
  6. Jul 23, 2009 #5
    You're already in engineering? Don't take engineering math courses if you want to do something other then engineering. They're pretty worthless. Try to take the equivalent applied math or pure math course.
  7. Jul 23, 2009 #6
    No, I just meant that it wouldn't let me have many electives if I do decide on that major. I chose physics as my major and that's what it is now, but I am considering a change. I won't decide until after the fall semester, though. I just want other people's opinions/experiences/advice.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook