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Computer Engineering vs Mechanical Engineering (and Electrical Engineering maybe)

  1. Jan 3, 2013 #1
    I'm a student from foreign country.
    Because of that, AP Physics C (Mechanics Part, same as Physics I in college) is the first and only physics I can take in high school.
    Even with my limited English skill, I got an A last semester in AP Physics C class and understand the concepts pretty well.
    Calculus BC, which is Calculus I and II, isn't too hard for me. Just doing homework everyday and get an A.

    Since I'm new to the country, I don't really know how to distinguish the three majors listed on the title.

    Can someone recommend what major I should choose?

    I love computer, but the bad part is that I only know some basic stuff like Word, Excel at this moment (SENIOR YEAR). Otherwise, I know nothing about those C, C++, Java, etc...
    If I want to major in Computer engineering, will it possible for me achieve my goal? (without any knowledge about those strange computer language, but with the love of Physics).
    Do professors teach the Computer Engineering students from basics to advanced stuff? Or They're supposed to know some background before stepping in the class?

    Or I can major in Mechanical Engineering since I kind of like my AP Physics C class too.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2013 #2
    your first 2 years of college for either major will be largely the same, so you don't have to make the decision right now. Try both and see what you prefer
  4. Jan 4, 2013 #3


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    I agree with Woopydalan. Also, I think it's important to think what kind of job you want after you graduate. Do you want to design hardware, make engines or deal with power? Basically, what aspect of engineering excites you the most will answer this question for you.
  5. Jan 4, 2013 #4
    Am I supposed to know any background knowledge before I major in computer engineering?.. some programing language...or something like that...
  6. Jan 4, 2013 #5
    You will take at least one (if not a two class series) introduction to programming type classes for a Computer Engineering major. Most schools Electrical Engineers will also take these classes, some schools all engineering majors will. So they will start you with the basics even if you have never programmed before.

    If you know how to program these will be a breeze, if you don't this will be your time to learn. If you want to get a head start programming is something you can learn on your own, you can get a development environment for pretty much any language free online and find plenty of tutorials as well.
  7. Jun 29, 2013 #6
    I agree with the posts above. But remember, "programming" is different from the daily work we do on computers. To be a good computer engineer, you should be able to apply logic (basic common sense that we most of the time take for granted) well. It is like making a computer understand what you want it to do, by using a limited set of expressions. But I found programming fun, even though computer engg. is not my major.
  8. Jun 30, 2013 #7
    There may be some schools where you need to know programming before you start a computer/software engineering degree, or you may find that a lot of your classmates start out knowing a little bit of programming, but you can definitely get one of those degrees without any prior programming knowledge.
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