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Complicated Matters in Choosing a Major

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Choosing a Major

I'm a sophomore undergrad at Stanford that is interested in biotechnology. I was majoring in bioengineering, but recently switched to mechanical engineering. Main reasons were because the bioengineering program here is too new and I'd rather have a broader engineering background for undergrad.

I also really enjoy physics. But if I continue with mechanical engineering, I won't have space to take any physics electives. So I'm contemplating switching back to bioengineering, which will give me room to minor in physics. This would be mostly for personal fulfillment.

To be honest, I find physics far more intellectually engaging than mechanical engineering. The only thing holding me back is knowing that a degree in mechanical engineering with a bioengineering focus is more useful and valuable than a degree in bioengineering with a physics minor. What are your thoughts?
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
fss
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Study what will be interesting to you. If more people on this board took that very simple advice, most of the "what should I major in... xxxx seems more hireable but I really like yyyy" posts would go away.
 
  • #3
Don't get me wrong, I think mechanical engineering is very interesting. By 'more useful and valuable', I didn't mean 'more hireable'. I meant that it is more relevant toward my goals and will ultimately make me the better engineer. With mechanical engineering, I would have a better toolbox to use with my bioengineering interests.

Physics is more of a personal interest seems less applicable toward my studies. The main reason why I want to pursue it is because it offers a deeper mathematical understanding than most engineering classes, which have more of a 'plug and chug' approach.

I should be more specific about what I'm asking. I'm interested in knowing in what areas do physics and bioengineering overlap. For example, statistical mechanics treatment of biological systems. What other kinds of tools will studying physics give me that mechanical engineering won't? In what ways would studying physics be advantageous to mechanical engineering in the field of biotechnology?
 

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