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Programs EE/Physics Double Major

I am thinking I will major in EE and Physics is this a wise course of action? My true passion has always been physics however I also wish to have the practicality of the EE degree to fall back on if for some reason higher level studies in physics don't work out( I hear it is very difficult to get a good job with just a BS in physics).

I hope to be able to leverage this degree in graduate school as I hope to work in radio astronomy or instrument design where an EE background may put me at an advantage.

In terms of industry how will I be viewed? Favorably compared to those with just EE degrees as I have further fundamental knowledge?

The one unfortunate aspect is that I will not be able to take any electives in either physics or EE as the required courses for each major will fill out my schedule, how might this hurt me?
 
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I'd say that you should do one in engineering physics instead.
 
I'd say that you should do one in engineering physics instead.

Eh, such a degree isn't offered where I am. Plus, Engineering Physics programs might not be ABET accredited so I'd lose one of the main benefits of doing a BSEE.
 

fss

1,176
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Eh, such a degree isn't offered where I am. Plus, Engineering Physics programs might not be ABET accredited so I'd lose one of the main benefits of doing a BSEE.
What kind of graduate program are you looking to get into? If your graduate program is a physics program, ABET accreditation won't really matter. If it's EE and you plan on doing your instrument design after graduation then it will matter.
 
What kind of graduate program are you looking to get into? If your graduate program is a physics program, ABET accreditation won't really matter. If it's EE and you plan on doing your instrument design after graduation then it will matter.
My two option as I see is that I would go into Physics/Astronomy graduate school as an experimentalist or I forgo graduate school(or only get a masters) and go to work as an electrical engineer. Thus having both degree will cover both paths.
 

fss

1,176
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Thus having both degree will cover both paths.
You will not be getting two degrees (which would require double the credit hours)- you'll be getting one degree with two majors. But given your situation and desired path after undergraduate it seems like a decent plan.
 
598
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Eh, such a degree isn't offered where I am. Plus, Engineering Physics programs might not be ABET accredited so I'd lose one of the main benefits of doing a BSEE.
Well, of course that would be if it was offered and was ABET accredited.
 
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how bout majoring in physics and spending your electives in EE/minor in EE?

I figure a year long class in semiconductor physics/circuits (applied cond. matter) and 1 year long class in signals would put you in great position to do EE stuff.
you'll probably be much better at E&M then any EE major and you should be learning programming anyways...
 
how bout majoring in physics and spending your electives in EE/minor in EE?

I figure a year long class in semiconductor physics/circuits (applied cond. matter) and 1 year long class in signals would put you in great position to do EE stuff.
you'll probably be much better at E&M then any EE major and you should be learning programming anyways...
Personally I'd be fine with that I really dislike some of these EE classes that are required anyway. But i feel like in the event I don't end up in Physics grad school I'd have a much harder time finding a job without an official BSEE. Atleast that is what the general opinion seems to be.
 

marcusl

Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,682
333
how bout majoring in physics and spending your electives in EE/minor in EE?

I figure a year long class in semiconductor physics/circuits (applied cond. matter) and 1 year long class in signals would put you in great position to do EE stuff.
you'll probably be much better at E&M then any EE major and you should be learning programming anyways...
This is excellent advice IMHO. Add digital signal processing, if it's not already part of a year in Signals and Systems, and you will have what you need to perform practical work. Your physics background will give you an edge in terms of mathematical sophistication, and the ability to tackle most of what an EE will do. You'll be able to pick up additional stuff on the job.

As for physics making you unhirable, I think it's often the opposite. Read aerospace job postings, e.g., and you'll usually see "EE or physics degree" listed.
 

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