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Dual degree in EE and physics with minors in math and chemistry?

  1. Nov 6, 2006 #1
    Ludicrous? Would this look good on a resume when I go to apply to grad schools for solid state physics? I will have a 3.5 GPA (hopefully), REU experience and hopefully decent GRE scores. I'll be a member of eta kappa nu (EE honors society), and sigma pi sigma (physics honors society) and society of physics students.

    The reason I am doing this is I have already taken lots of chemistry classes since I was previously a chemistry major, and I need one more chemistry class for a minor. However, condensed matter physics, which I am taking next semester, is apparently being cross offered as a chemistry class (solid state chemistry). So, I basically have a minor in chemistry.

    Now, I also only need 3 additional math courses for a math minor also (so far I've taken calc 1-3, diffEQ, adv. eng. math. and prob/stats). For the three additional math classes I am considering linear algebra, PDE, and real analysis ( :surprised ).

    Technically, for the dual major in EE/physics with the minor in chemistry I only need 34 more credits after this semester and I could be out of here by fall '07. However, some of the classes I need won't be offered until spring '08 anyways (quantum) so I don't have a choice to graduate early. Spreading out the 34 credits over three semesters is only 12 credits a semester, or I could tack on another math class each semester to pick up the minor while taking 15 credits a semester. hmmm....

    So, should I take it easy the next three semester and only take on 12 credits a semester and walk with a dual major in EE/physics w/ minor in chem, or should I tack on an additional course each semester to pick up a math minor, which would require 15 credits a semester?

    Perhaps I could use the free time I have by forgoing the extra math classes to get more REU experience....

    What would look best to grad schools??

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2006 #2
    Dude, pick a major, finish it, and go to grad school. That is rediculous.

    By the time your done with all this you could have gotten yourself a masters with thesis.
  4. Nov 6, 2006 #3
    well, it's too late to turn back on the physics and EE. I've already gotten my feet wet.

    However, I may end up opting out on the math minor and just pick up lots of research.
  5. Nov 6, 2006 #4


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    Keep in mind that no one's going to look at a EE/Physics double major and think yeah, but I wonder if he took enough math...

    - Warren
  6. Nov 6, 2006 #5
    you can never have enough math. :tongue:

    However, I know classes like real analysis, PDE, and algebra are going to be tough since they are real 'math major' courses and will be quite rigorous and proof based.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2006
  7. Nov 6, 2006 #6
    seriously, does 2 degrees and 2 minors make up for a craptastic GPA?
  8. Nov 6, 2006 #7
    The dean of our engineering program always told us minors in things so similar don't impress the industry much. Like if your a computer science major, what would be more impressive is if you minored in say business rather than math.

    They already know your good at problem solving/math, but can you also be a good business person or leader? But If your trying to impress people who evaluate you for grad school then its probably not the same situation.
  9. Nov 7, 2006 #8
    yeah, my immediate goal is to enter grad school. However, I am aware that industry is not impressed with a million closely related minors.

    My question is whether it is impressive to academia, and my professor seems to think it would be.
  10. Nov 7, 2006 #9
    You're a smart guy. You will get into some grad school. Is it the end of the world if its not MIT? No.

    You dont have to be a 4.0 to get into grad school. I think you worry too much about getting in sometimes.

    Personally, all I care about is my undergrad classes right now. I like EE and math, so I'll take a few upper level electives of it, but im not going to start triple-quadruple major/minoring in the stuff. That's going overboard.

    Do you want to know a lot of general nothing or a lot about a specific topic. Pick one, not both.

    I was like you at first, but I realized its just not going to happen to take everything under the sun. The other stuff will come along in your career as you need it.

    I also came to the realization that 20 undergrad degrees dont amount to squat compared to someone with a masters who has in depth knowledge.

    The question is, which one do you want to be??
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2006
  11. Nov 7, 2006 #10
    True...I do worry a lot about grad school. It seems that the condensed matter physics course will not count toward both chemistry and physics...so I will still need three more chem credits. A chem prof said that he'd be willing to get me on a research directed study for the extra credits I need, so I may do that.

    MY goal is to become a physicist....but it'll be close to the interface with EE.

    And the physics degree (and even the undergrad EE degree) is about making you a jack of all trades and a master of none. Grad school is where you really develop an expertise in a particular area...undergrad is just to get your feet wet in a diverse range of areas.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2006
  12. Nov 8, 2006 #11
    by the time you finish your undergradute, I should be in grad school. I graduated High School 2005, and I know what I am doing. I know I am going to study Calculus of Variations in Graduate School. I have scheduled graduation with double majors in Spring 07.

    I don't care what degree(s/ss/sss....) I have, I care what I know. I learn to satisfy my demand of knowledge, not to impress whoever reading my transcript.

    It is not hard to obtain an undergradte degree after all, all you need is time, patience, tuition and a big smile in every class. PhD should be something you should spend your extra time in. I would not spend 1-2 years just to impress enough people for getting into grad school, rather I would spend 2 more years working on financial application of Calculus of Variations.

    If I am lucky enough, my name would be associated with some theorems. lol
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2006
  13. Nov 8, 2006 #12
    The grad school's I've talked to say they "assume you're good at math" so even doublemajoring in math is meaningless as far as impressing goes. But my math teacher says it's good to have if you're going to engineering, lol. I too am having to spread out hours because classes aren't offered til spring 08. I've opted just to go with the 12 or so hours a semester, with a couple extra physics.
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