Courses you did not require?

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In summary, Electrical Engineering majors may take courses that do not count towards their degree, but these courses may lead to a different degree following graduation.
  • #1
Hello all,
My question to you is this: when you were acquiring your degree, did you ever take courses that did not count towards your degree, and rather you took it anyways for pure enjoyment? Or did these courses eventually lead to another degree, following graduation?

I was initially in physics, however, I switched over to Electrical Engineering. I have numerous courses that apply to a physics degree, and they were not transferrable to my current degree. Moreoever, I find myself taking additional math courses beyond the required courses for my degree. I'm seriously contemplating finishing my physics degree upon completion of my BE...
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  • #2
During my psychology degree I took courses in pure math. Granted, this paid off when I became interested in computational neuroscience...
  • #3
I'm an EE and taking Linear Algebra and an intro to proofs class that I don't need. I plan on getting a minor but that's because I've pretty much already earned it.

If I had time and money, I'd get an entire math degree and maybe take a few more CS classes. Math for enjoyment, CS for practical reasons. I kinda want to learn more about physics (quantum especially) because they sound interesting but I'm not much of a physics guy so I'd prolly never actually do it.
  • #4
I don't think having a wide breadth of knowledge is going to hurt you (other than your pocket book if it costs you more for the credits). I ended up taking about 20 credits above and beyond that needed for my undergraduate degree. The were mainly in math and philosophy, while my degree was in physics. So, the math helps me in my job now. The philosophy classes were just something I was interested in.

Right now, I wish I had taken a bunch of chemistry and atmospheric science classes as it would be very useful to me for one of my funded projects. When it comes down to it, you never know where life is going to take you. Learn things that interest you when you can. You will spend your whole life learning new stuff in all likelihood.

As for actually finishing up the degree - a lot of school have a dual degree program between physics and the different engineering disciplines. See if yours does also.
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  • #5
I did my undergraduate at a liberal-arts college so I had to take a certain number of courses outside of my physics+math double major. Beyond that requirement, I was especially interested in languages, so I took more German courses than were necessary to meet the language requirement, and even spent one term in my college's study-abroad program in Germany. I also took a course on the history of the English language.
  • #6
Take as many courses that you are interested in as time and money permits. I guarantee that you won't regret it later.
  • #7
I took a lot of bird watching classes. I wish I had taken more natural history like that.
  • #8
sandy.bridge said:
I'm seriously contemplating finishing my physics degree upon completion of my BE...

Important note: If you want to finish your physics degree, you should do it at the same institution and wait to apply for graduation until you have completed the requirements for both majors. "Most" institutions will not admit someone to an undergraduate degree program if they already have an undergraduate degree (so you'd have to be admitted for a Masters) ... or if an institutions did admit you, you might end up redoing a bunch of required gen-ed's (most institutions will only accept so much transfer credit from other institutions).

Beyond that: Yes, I took a lot of courses in related topics that didn't apply (in my case Chemistry and Math... so much so I turned these into strong minors -- which does show up on the cumulative transcript from the institution).
  • #9
Thanks for the advice. I managed to talk with the head of the EE department, and he was supportive of my idea in regards to finishing my degree. He said that there are certain courses in EE that will be mandatory each year for me to complete, however, he said I can intertwine my studies as I wanted. For example, rather than taking 6 classes per term of purely EE related topics(or 12 classes per fall/winter season), I could take 3 classes from EE, along with 3 classes from physics, such that each degree is dispersed in duration but they will be completed at the same time. Any further advice?

Thanks, guys.

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