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Considering a double major

  1. Jul 24, 2012 #1
    I'm transferring from a JC to a UC as a math major this Fall, and was considering a double major in EE. I was originally planning on doing a minor in physics, but this I think is a bit more realistic.

    I definitely want to go to grad school for math, but not directly after undergrad. For a few reasons. A) Some people leave grad school with literally a quarter million plus in debt. That scares the hell out of me. B) I'm 20 right now, I don't know if I'm mature enough yet for grad school. I study hard and have a passion for math and physics, but I don't think I'm on the level for a PhD just yet.

    My plans are do the double major, work for awhile as an engineer and save up money/pay off any loans I had to take. THEN go back, maybe do a class a quarter or something while still working.

    I have no illusions of it being easy, and I know it will probably take me 3 years at UC instead of 2. BUT it would be worth it, I think.

    I'm choosing EE over MechE for a few reasons. A) EE is booming right now, and I see no end in sight. Things are getting more and more electronic. Hell, even something as simple as a toothbrush is electronic now. SOMEONE has to design that. B) It's the most math-heavy, or so I hear. I like that.

    I have a 4.0 major GPA. Got As in calculus, linear algebra, physics, programming, econ. I bust my *** studying, and I know it's going to only get more difficult.

    Any advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 24, 2012 #2


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    Grad school in math is free. In fact, they'll pay YOU to get the degree since you'll be working for them (doing research and/or teaching classes). It's not a lot, but most people don't have to take out loans in grad school in math or the sciences. But if you're not certain a PhD is for you, don't do it. Engineering can pay just as much as a math PhD, and you might only need a bachelors in it.
  4. Jul 24, 2012 #3
    I definitely definitely want to go to grad school, IF I can hack it. I'm taking some upper div stuff this fall. I haven't taken any real math yet, so I want to see how I handle the analysis and algebra and other stuffs. I'm taking analysis and number theory this fall. After the fall quarter, I'll know if I want to pursue grad school in math. Because from what I hear, lower div isn't an accurate representation of advanced math at all. That's the thing. I'm afraid of the debt, whether or not I can do it. Those are the two main things.

    I've heard of people going to grad school getting paid as physics or chem or bio or more lab-oriented sciences, not so much for math unless you're really good and/or lucky.
  5. Jul 24, 2012 #4
    When I was researching math grad schools, pretty much all of them offered financial support pretty much without exception. Most grad schools don't pay for Master's Degrees or only pay a few students. But, from what my research uncovered, it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that you'd get support.

    Also, good job for not wanting to go into debt! I did this for undergrad - and you are right - its hard, but well worth it because I don't have a pile of debt to pay off in my future.
  6. Jul 24, 2012 #5

    Yeah, I have to go into a little bit of debt for undergrad (not that much though), but if I do a double with engineering, it'll quickly get paid off. I also went to community college, which was an AWESOME decision. One of the better decisions I've made. I'm at the same place as everyone else now, just with less debt AND I appreciate more. No debt, it let me get my head on straight. I screwed around, didn't really do much for a bit, then took things seriously and transferred and now have a passion for math/science.

    I think I'm going to do it, but do you have any advice? About engineering, math, handling both, transfer from JC to "real college"?

    I'm super excited. I want to learn all I can.
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