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Did I make the wrong choice? - Grad School Advice

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

My undergraduate degrees are in math and physics, but I decided to apply for graduate school in engineering (specifically environmental engineering). I was lucky enough to be accepted to almost all of the programs I applied to, but I only received one research position offer (that would pay for my tuition and provide a stipend). I decided to attend the school where I was guaranteed a research position even though it wasn’t my top choice. Over the summer I was able to start on my research. I have no previous research experience, and the type of research I am doing is life-cycle assessment (so it’s all sitting in an office at a desk). I had a tough time over the summer because it was hard for me to meet people, and I wasn’t enjoying the work I was doing (and I was working 30-40 hours a week).

Classes have just started, and I have met some more people, but I am still not super interested in what I am studying or researching. Since starting my research over the summer I keep thinking that I should have chosen to study math instead of engineering. I have always like math, but I guess I didn’t really think I could do anything with it. I have realized that I really don’t know much about the field of environmental engineering (or engineering) like what I could even really do with my degree. I am also not sure what type of work I want to do. On top of that, I feel like I made a decision without really thinking because I found out my degree is not actually in environmental engineering, but in civil engineering, and it’s not accredited, so I would have to take the FE and apply for accreditation (which I am not so fond of).

I keep feeling like I made the wrong choice (on area of study, in degree program, and maybe even in university). I don’t want to bail on my advisor though because I think she likes the work that I am doing. She applied for a fellowship on my behalf (which I won for my first year of grad school), she wants me to apply for the NSF GRFP, and other fellowships, and has brought up continuing on for a PhD several times already. I thought graduate school was the right choice because I felt like I could achieve more academically, and also work more on figuring out my career path.

Do you have any advice for me?

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Welcome to PF!
Do you have any advice for me?
Put some serious thought into your situation, decide what you want to do and then do it.

Seriously, there is virtually nothing in your post that we can offer advice on (beyond perhaps the technical issues of accreditation and the FE). This is all about your choices about what you want -- and we aren't in your head, so there is no way for us to know. We can only answer questions about things like job prospects for a certain degree, qualifications for a job, etc.

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